The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the bill creating the National Electoral Offenses Commission and Tribunal after its second reading.
The measure, which includes seven parts and 48 clauses, aimed at relieving the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the “burden” of prosecuting electoral violators.
The bill’s sponsor was Aishatu Duku, the head of the House Committee on Electoral Matters. It was combined with four other bills.
The law argued that it was unrealistic for INEC to hold free, fair, and credible elections while also pursuing criminal charges for offenses connected to those same elections.
A special prosecuting agency to be called the Electoral Offences Commission was advocated by the Electoral Reform Committee, which was led by former Nigerian Chief Justice Mohammed Uwais, in 2007.
In the arraignment and prosecution of electoral violators, this is to operate independently.
The goal of the bill is to generally enhance Nigeria’s electoral process by establishing the legal framework for the investigation and prosecution of electoral offenses.
A similar law was approved by the Senate in July 2021.
The upper chamber’s plan mandates a 20-year prison sentence for those found guilty of stealing ballot boxes during elections.