Note: – This is the 3rd blog informing the Nigerian public on
electoral offences in the Electoral Act; here is the first post on Punishment
and buying Voter’s cards
 and the
second on penalty
for improper use of voter’s cards
I guess you must have heard the term
stomach infrastructure”, if you
have not, it simply describes an act peculiar to Nigerian politicians, where
they supply and share food items to the electorate in a bid to sway their
voting decision in the politician’s favour. An example is the Ekiti elections
which were held earlier this year which had persons vying for the seat of the
Governor sharing bags of rice to people in the state. 

Many unscrupulous politicians however
do not stop there, but they go the extra mile in securing their electoral
victories by bribing both the electorate and the electoral officers. I believe
Nigeria should have evolved beyond all forms of electoral irregularities and it
is very important that all Nigerians are informed that it is a crime to
conspire to bribe or to actually bribe anyone with the goal of securing
electoral favours. 
The Electoral Act in section 124
provides for the act and offence of bribery or conspiring to bribe during
elections. It provides in essence that anyone 
who –
  • Directly or indirectly offers any
    money or valuable consideration;
  • Corruptly makes or receives any gift,
    loan, promise or agreement with the aim of influencing the return or imposition
    to an elective office;
  • Pays monies to be used in bribery
    during elections; or
  • Induces any person to vote or refrain
    from voting at any election, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to
    a maximum fine of N500, 000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.
Furthermore, a voter commits an
offence of bribery, where before or during an election directly or indirectly
receives, agrees or contracts for any money, gift, loan or consideration for
himself or another for voting or refraining to vote in an election. Such person
is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500, 000 or imprisonment
for 12 months or both. 
Also, persons who aid in committing
the above offences are also guilty and any candidate who has knowledge and
consents to any of the acts mentioned above is guilty as well.  
I humbly implore all politicians to
stop destroying our Nation and our electoral process by offering bribes. I also
implore all Nigerians to do the honourable thing and not sell their votes. We
deserve credible leadership in Nigeria and not the opposite.
Adedunmade Onibokun, Esq