Is Buhari’s Threat To Ballot Box Snatchers Constitutional? Find Out

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday threatened to terminate the lives of ballot box snatchers.

Mr Buhari while speaking at the caucus meeting of the All Progressive Congress (APC) strongly warned those who wish to thwart the will of the people to shelve their plan or pay with their live when caught.

To further explain how serious he was while issuing the threat, the president said he has ordered security agencies to waste the life of anyone trying to cart away ballot boxes or intends to disrupt voting process.

This has attracted reactions from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who criticised the president’s position on election rigging.

Is the president’s threat constitutional? POLITICS TIMES reports that the Electoral Act (2010), says otherwise and does not prescribe death for any electoral offence.

Section 129 (4) of the Electoral Act states, “Any person who snatches or destroys any election material commits an offence and is liable on conviction to 24 months imprisonment.”

In terms of electoral violence, the act stipulates in Section 131 that anyone found culpable “is liable on conviction to a fine of N1,000, 000 or imprisonment for a term of three years.”

VERDICT: The president’s comment is unconstitutional since we are in a democratic regime. It is only applicable in a military regime and can be likened to that of a dictator.