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Ninth NASS to pass Electoral Offences Commission bill before dissolution—Gbajabiamila

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the house of representatives, says the ninth national assembly will pass the Electoral Offences Commission Bill before its dissolution.

Femi-Gbajabiamila
Femi-Gbajabiamila Credit: Femi Gbaja | Twitter

Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the house of representatives, says the ninth national assembly will pass the Electoral Offences Commission Bill before its dissolution.

Mr Gbajabiamila advocates the prosecution of electoral offenders to build confidence in the country’s elections.

The speaker disclosed this on Tuesday while addressing his colleagues who resume plenary after the election break.

During the conduct of the 2023 general elections, there were reported incidents of thuggery, voter intimidation and suppression in Lagos, Rivers and Anambra states.

According to the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) preliminary report released on Monday, 21 persons were killed on election day.

Reacting, Mr Gbajabiamila said the punishment of electoral offenders will serve as a deterrent to others and assist the country to build confidence in its elections.

He said the ninth assembly will finalise work on the bill before the inauguration of the 10th assembly. 

“The Electoral Offences Act is one area where we must take action before the culmination of the 9th house of representatives,” Gbajabiamila said.

“The Act is necessary to ensure effective enforcement against individuals and organisations whose violations of our electoral laws undermine our constitution and threaten our democracy.   

“A system of vigorous prosecution and punishment of electoral offenders will serve as a deterrent to others in the future and help build confidence in our elections.”

The speaker commended Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for “the hard work and commitment to ensuring free and fair elections across the country”.

He, however, called for an “objective assessment” of the 2023 general elections.

According to him, the 2022 Electoral Act has been “particularly instrumental” in improving the elections process, especially the use of technology to facilitate voter accreditation and transmission of results.

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