Any political party that submits affidavit containing false claims of its candidate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) risks a fine of N5 million.

That is according the fourth version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill recently passed by the National Assembly.

The passed bill exclusively obtained by Bounce News revealed that besides the fine, the court shall order the disqualification of the candidate.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had last week adopted the report of their Joint Committees on INEC and Electoral Matters.

Section 31 (6 and 8) of the amended Electoral Act, which deals with Submission of List of Candidates and Their Affidavits by Political Parties, provides that: "If the Court determines that any of the information contained in the affidavit is false, the Court shall issue an order disqualifying the candidate from contesting the election, if already elected, shall not be eligible to re-contest another election which shall be conducted within 90 days by the Commission.

"A political party which presents to the Commission the name of a candidate who does not meet the qualification stipulated in this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N5,000,000.00".

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However, the bill will not become law until it is signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It would be recalled that the President had declined assent to the bill on three occasions in 2018, citing constitutional breaches and other errors.

With less than four months to the 2019 general elections, it remains to be seen if the President would sign the bill into law.

The election is billed for February 16 and March 2, 2019.   

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