Home Local News Pass electoral offences commission bill, NHRC tells Reps

Pass electoral offences commission bill, NHRC tells Reps

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The National Human Rights Commission has called on the House of Representatives to pass the Electoral Offences Commission Bill like its counterpart in the Senate.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the commission’s Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu (SAN), made the call in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

He said the passage of the bill was to enable the country to deal with cases of electoral violence, which has characterised previous elections.

Ojukwu said, “If the bill is passed by the House of Representatives and subsequently signed into law by the President, it will empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to concentrate on organising credible polls while the responsibility of prosecuting electoral offenders will rest on the proposed National Electoral Offences Commission.

“The Senate passed the Electoral Offences Bill in July 2021 and forwarded to the House of Representatives.

“I wonder why the bill has remained pending despite the inherent value it will add to the electoral process from the 2023 general elections onwards.”

Ojukwu observed that although Section 145 of the Electoral Act 2022 empowers INEC to prosecute electoral offenders in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, the commission cannot investigate, arrest and prosecute electoral offenders.

He added, “The said incapacity on the part of INEC has constituted a serious impediment in prosecuting electoral offences and other forms of misconduct before, during and after elections in the country.

“I, therefore, join to the call for the implementation of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reforms recommendations particularly, as it relates to the establishment of the National Electoral Offences Commission to deal with all forms of electoral offences to rekindle people’s confidence in the electoral process.”

Ojukwu revealed that the commission had carried out an electoral accountability project wherein it made far-reaching recommendations to the Federal Government.

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