Polling Offences are by far the most common violations of the law in recent years, with few ever punished in Nigeria.
Undeniably, it is even more astonishing that because of the system in Nigeria that a number of politicians after deliberately infringing upon the law to get into public offices, use the privileges of the office and the public purse to sustain themselves in office.
The Funds obtained from government offices are used to pay lawyers for electoral cases.
However, a VanguardNg publication has revealed that the electoral laws stipulate conditions that could make a voter go to prison straight from polling post on an Election Day. Among them are;
Giving someone money to vote for or not to vote for someone
N100,000 fine or 12 months in prison or both
A person shall be culpable if within the vicinity of a polling station or collation centre he/she
—Convenes a meeting
—Wears, carries a badge, poster, banner, flag or symbol relating to a political party
—Makes unauthorised official announcements
PUNISHMENTN100,000 or six months in prison for each offence
A person shall be guilty if he/she –
—Canvasses for votes on Election Day
—Shouts political party slogans
— Is in possession of offensive weapons or wears any dressing that could intimidate other voters
—Wears clothes or symbols that could refer to a political party in the election
—Brings to the vicinity of the polling area vehicles that could refer to as that of a political party in the election
—Hangs around the polling area after voting or being refused to vote
N100,000 or six months in prison for each offence
4. Forging ballot paper or certificate of return 2 years in prison
5. Being in possession of more than one valid PVC N100,000 fine or 12 months in prison or both
6. Impersonation using another person’s PVC N500,000 fine or 12 months in prison or both
7. Voting more than once N500,000 fine or 12 months in prison or both