Electoral offences are no new development. In 2019, the Independent National Electoral Commission published a document that contained a list of all the electoral offences and their corresponding penalties.
Some of the offences include:
- Unlawful possession of a voter’s card, selling or buying of voters card
- Unlawful possession of a ballot paper
- Illegal printing of ballot papers
- Illegal production or importation of ballot boxes.
- A person voting or attempting to vote at an election when he/she is not qualified, or inducing a person to vote at an election knowing that such person is not qualified.
- Paying money to any other person for bribery at any election.
- Interfering with a voter casting his vote.
- Snatching or destruction of any election material, etc.
Beside the list of those offences include the penalties if found guilty, but implementation has been a significant problem and the Electoral Offences Desk may just be the right way to ensure these penalties do not go on unabated.
In a statement released Tuesday, June 7, Nigerian Police PRO, Olumiyuwa Adejobi says the Electoral Offences Desk will be established across all states of the federation and will be led by Assistant Commissioners of Police.
The mandate of the Electoral Offences Desk Officers includes the collation and investigation of all electoral offences/complaints from members of the public or any quarters, with a view to determining culpability in line with the amended Electoral Act 2022, and proffering charges before Courts of competent jurisdiction for necessary legal action.Nigerian Police
Read the full statement below:
PRESS RELEASE 2023 CREDIBLE ELECTIONS: IGP ESTABLISHES ELECTORAL OFFENCES DESKS ACROSS THE NATION, ASSIGNS DESK OFFICERS
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc(+), NPM, fdc, has approved the establishment of the Electoral Offences Desk at the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), Force Headquarters, Abuja, with the Commissioner of Police, FCID, as the Desk Officer.
The IGP has equally approved its establishment at State Commands across the nation with the Assistant Commissioners of Police in charge of the Criminal Investigation Departments as State Desk Officers.
The mandate of the Electoral Offences Desk Officers includes the collation and investigation of all electoral offences/complaints from members of the public or any quarters, with a view to determining culpability in line with the amended Electoral Act 2022, and proffering charges before Courts of competent jurisdiction for necessary legal action.
The IGP tasked the Desk to commence its activities immediately with some isolated cases recorded during the pre-election activities such as screening, conventions, primaries, etc.
In line with this mandate, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force attached to the Keffi Area Command of the Nasarawa State Command, acting on credible and actionable intelligence have arrested twenty-four suspected political thugs at Minki Suites, along Keffi-Akwanga Road.
The thugs suspected to be loyal to an aspirant in the Nasarawa West Senatorial primaries came into the hotel in a convoy of seven private vehicles.
Items recovered from the arrested suspects include; eight (8) pump action guns, two (2) locally made revolver guns, thirty-seven (37) rounds of live cartridges, four (4) bulletproof vests, twenty-seven (27) mobile phones, two (2) pairs of vigilante uniforms, five (5) cutlasses, ten (10) assorted knives, criminal charms, and other incriminating objects. Preliminary investigations reveal that the suspects, who are thugs for hire, carry out their heinous acts under the guise of being members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN).
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba has ordered the immediate transfer of the case to the Electoral Offences Desk at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) and the immediate arrest of the concerned aspirant for necessary investigative actions.
The IGP reiterates the commitment of the Force to stamping out threats to peaceful and credible elections at all levels, even as he vows to deal decisively with anyone caught engaging inn political thuggery.
Signed: CSP OLUMUYIWA ADEJOBI, mnipr, mipra FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER FORCE HEADQUARTERS ABUJA June 7, 2022.