This post is part of our Global Legal Collection Highlights series.
It is election season in Nigeria. As I noted in my recent post, barring any changes to the schedule, Nigeria will hold presidential and National Assembly elections on March 28, 2015. Nigeria will also hold elections for state house assemblies as well as gubernatorial seats on April 11, 2015. While the country is encountering formidable security and logistical challenges, in this election cycle the legal landscape governing elections does not appear to be an issue. This is largely because Nigeria had reformed its electoral legal framework in 2010 in preparation for the 2011 elections. As part of this reform, Nigeria repealed and replaced the 2006 Electoral Act and made key amendments to its 1999 Constitution.
As the election days fast approach, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight key primary and secondary sources on the subject. Nigeria is a federation of thirty-six states. While state governments enjoy the right to legislate on various issues, the legislative jurisdiction on election matters, with the exception of local government councils, is exclusively the purview of the federal government. The following is a list of key legal instruments that govern election matters:
- Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999
- Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (First Alteration) Act, 2010
- Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (second Alteration) Act, 2010
- Electoral Act No. 6 of 2010
- Electoral (Amendment) Act No. 10 of 2010
- Electoral (Amendment) Act (No. 2), 2011
- Election Tribunal and Court Practice Directions, S. I. No. 4
- Practice Directions (Election Appeals to the Supreme Court), S.I. No. 33
Given that Nigeria’s legal system is “based on the English common law legal tradition,” in addition to the above laws, judicial precedents control matters relating to elections. The Law Library of Congress holdings on Nigeria include numerous current as well as historical law reports such as:
- Supreme Court of Nigeria Judgments
- Nigeria Weekly Law Reports
- All Nigeria Law Reports
- Law Reports of Courts of Nigeria
The Library of Congress also holds a number of secondary sources on the subject, including:
- Lateef A. A. Adeniji et. al. (eds.), Curbing Terrorism, Kidnapping and Rigging of Election in Nigeria: The Role of Religion, Education, Language and General Studies (2012)
- Abiodun I. Layonu & Akeem A. I. Adekunbi (eds.), Reflections on the Nigerian Electoral System (Vοl. 1) (2012)
- Federal Republic of Nigeria National Assembly, Report of the Conference Committee on a Bill for an Act to Amend the electoral Act No. 64 [sic] of 2010 (2010)
- Joshuae E. Alobo, Election Petition in Nigeria: Cases and Materials (2007)
- Abdulhameed A. Ujo, Understanding Election in Nigeria: The First 50 Years (1960-2010) (2012)
- Human Rights Monitor, Nigeria, Final Report on Tracking the Arrest and Prosecution of Electoral Offenders and Outreach Program on the 2011 General elections in Nigeria (2012)
You are welcome to browse our collection on Nigeria by going to the Library of Congress online catalog. You can read about legal developments in the country by visiting the Nigeria page on the Global Legal Monitor, an online publication of the Law Library. If you have any questions or need assistance researching Nigerian law, you can submit a request to the Law Library through the “Ask A Librarian” page on our website. We are here to help!