The minority leader of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu has advocated for a stiffer sanction against any politician or party involved in electoral fraud.
Elumelu made the call in a lecture at the 5th Biennial Convention of Class of 84 of St. Pius Grammar School, Onitcha-Ugbo, which held on Saturday in Umunede, Delta.
In the lecture, titled, ‘The Role of Enhanced Electoral Awareness in Improving the Quality of Leadership in Nigeria’, Elumelu noted that drastic measures are needed to sanitize the electoral system.
“A candidate as well as a political party whose election is annulled over established charges of manipulation should be sanctioned.
“Such candidates or parties should be barred from further participating in election for a stipulated period of time.
“It is important that laws guiding elections should be firm in recommending punishments for INEC officials, politicians and political parties found culpable for electoral offences,” he said.
The Reps minority leader said there should be a provision that would make a returning officer culpable of electoral offences; in a case where an election is annulled by a court.
According to him, such provision will deter electoral officials from being used to manipulate elections.
Elumelu also charged the nation’s electoral body to take urgent steps; to accelerate the use of technology to enhance the credibility of the voting process.
“For instance, the electronic transmission of declared results directly from the polling units; will help eliminate collation related malpractices and alteration of results,” he noted.
On enhancing electoral awareness among the citizenry, the lawmaker stated that awareness on electoral processes is sine qua non to improving the quality of leadership in a democracy.
He also stated that adequate electoral awareness is essential; because it afford the people the right and opportunity to choose their political leaders.
”It is only a politically-aware electorate can maximise their rights as well as opportunities; in enthroning a leadership through which they can effectively actualize their wishes and aspirations,” he said.