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Relevant Sections of the Electoral Act, 2010: Election and Announcement of Election Results

November 11, 2014

AN ACT TO REPEAL THE ELECTORAL ACT 2006 AND RE-ENACT THE INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION, REGULATE THE CONDUCT OF FEDERAL, STATE AND AREA COUNCIL ELECTIONS AND FOR RELATED MATTERS, 2010
NATIONAL REGISTER OF VOTERS AND VOTERS’ REGISTRATION
9 (1) The Commission shall compile, maintain, and update on a continuous basis, a National Register of Voters, in this Act referred to as the “Register of Voters” which shall include the names of all persons entitled to vote in any Federal, State or Local Government or Area Council elections.
(5) The registration of voters, updating and revision of the register of voters under this section shall stop not later than 60 days before any election covered by this Act.
(6) The registration of voters shall be at the registration centres designated for that purpose by the Commission and notified to the public.

CONTINUOUS REGISTRATION
10-(1) Without prejudice to section 10(5), there shall be continuous registration of all persons qualified to be registered voters.
(2) Each applicant for registration under the continuous registration system shall appear in person at the registration venue with any of the following documents, namely—
(a) birth or baptismal certificate;
(b) national passport, identity card or driver’s licence; or
(c) any other document that will prove the identity, age and nationality of the applicant.
(3) The Commission shall within sixty days after each year make available to every political party, the names and address of each person registered during that year.
(4) When a general election is notified by the Commission pursuant to section 31 of this Act, the current official register of voters certified by the Commission in accordance with the provision of this Act shall be the official voters’ register for those elections.
(5) In the case of every bye-election conducted under this Act, the official voters’ register for use at such elections shall be the existing current register relating to the senatorial district or the constituency concerned.
(6) As soon as claims and objections have been dealt with or the period for making claims and objections has expired, the supplementary list shall be included in the revised register, which shall be certified by the Commission as the official register of voters for the purposes of any election conducted under this Bill and supercedes all previous registers.

POWER TO PRINT AND ISSUE REGISTER OF VOTERS
15-The Commission shall cause a voters’ register for each State to be printed, and any person or political party may obtain from the Commission, on payment of such charges, a certified copy of any voters’ register for the State or for a Local Government or Area Council or registration area within it.

POWER TO PRINT AND ISSUE VOTERS’ CARD
16-(1) The Commission shall design, cause to be printed and control the issuance of voters’ cards to voters whose names appear in the register.
(2) No voter shall hold more than one valid voters’ card.
(3) Any person who contravenes subsection (2) of this section commits an
offence and shall be liable on conviction, to a fine not exceeding N100,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.
(4) The Commission may, whenever it considers it necessary, replace all or any voters’ cards for the time being held by voters.

DISPLAYS OF THE COPIES OF VOTERS’ LIST
19-(1) Subject to the provisions of section 16(1) of this Act, the Commission shall, by notice, appoint a period of not less than 5 days and not exceeding 14 days, during which a copy of the voters’ register for each Local Government, Area Council or ward shall be displayed for public scrutiny and during which period any objection or complaint in relation to the names omitted or included in the voters’ register or in relation to any necessary correction, shall be raised or filed.
(2) During the period of the display of the Voters’ list under this Act, any person may:
(a) raise an objection on the form prescribed by the Commission against the inclusion in the supplementary Voters’ register of the name of a person on grounds that the person is not qualified to be registered as a voter in the State, Local Government/Area Council, Ward or Registration Area or that the name of a deceased person is included in the register; or
(b) make a claim on the form prescribed by the Commission that the name of a person registered to vote has been omitted.
(3) Any objection or claim under subsection (2) of this section shall be addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner through the Electoral Officer in charge of the Local Government/Area Council.

POSTPONEMENT OF ELECTION
26-(1) Where a date has been appointed for the holding of an election, and there is reason to believe that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur if the election is proceeded with on that date or it is impossible to conduct the elections as a result of natural disasters or other emergencies, the Commission may postpone the election and shall in respect of the area, or areas concerned, appoint another date for the holding of the postponed election, provided that
such reason for the postponement is cogent and verifiable.
(2) Where an election is postponed under this Act on or after the last date for the delivery of nomination papers, and a poll has to be taken between the candidates nominated, the Electoral Officer shall, on a new date being appointed for the election, proceed as if the date appointed were the date for the taking of the poll between the candidates.
(3) Where the Commission appoints a substituted date in accordance with subsections (1) and (2) of this section, there shall be no return for the election until polling has taken place in the area or areas affected.
(4) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (3) of this section, the Commission may, if satisfied that the result of the election will not be affected by voting in the area or areas in respect of which substituted dates have been appointed, direct that a return of the election be made.
(5) The decision of the Commission under subsection (4) may be challenged by any of the contestants at a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction and on such challenge, the decision shall be suspended until the matter is determined.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ELECTION RESULTS
27-(1) The Results of all the elections shall be announced by-
(a) the Presiding Officer at the Polling unit;
(b) the Ward Collation Officer at the Ward Collation Centre;
(c) the Local Government or Area Council Collation Officer at the Local Government/Area Council Collation Centre;
(d) the State Collation Officer at the State Collation Centre;
(2) The Returning Officer shall announce the result and declare the winner of the election at:
(a) Ward Collation Centre in the case of Councillorship election in the Federal Capital Territory;
(b) Area Council Collation Centre in the case of Chairmanship and Vice Chairmanship election in the Federal Capital Territory;
(c) State Constituency Collation Centre in the case of State House of Assembly election;
(d) Federal Constituency Collation Centre in the case of election to the House of Representatives;
(e) Senatorial District Collation Centre in the case of election to the Senate;
(f) State Collation Centre in the case of election of a Governor of a State;

POSTING OF RESULTS
71.The Commission shall cause to be posted on its notice board and website, a notice showing the candidates at the election and their scores; and the person declared as elected or returned at the election.

CUSTODY OF DOCUMENTS
72.The Chief Electoral Commissioner or any officer authorized by him shall keep official custody of all the documents, including statement of results and ballot papers relating to the election, which are returned to the Commission by the Returning Officers.

ACCESS TO ELECTION DOCUMENTS
77.(1)The Resident Electoral Commissioner in a State where an election is conducted, shall within 7 days, after an application is made to him, by any of the parties to an election petition, cause such documents or the certified true copy thereof, to be issued to the said party.
(2) Any Resident Electoral Commissioner who wilfully fails to comply with the provisions in sub section (1) above, is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N2,000,000 or imprisonment for 12 months, or both.

PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN CONDUCT ETC, AT POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS
95- (1) No political campaign or slogan shall be tainted with abusive language directly or indirectly likely to injure religious, ethnic, tribal or sectional feelings.
(2) Abusive, intemperate, slanderous or base language or insinuations or innuendoes designed or likely to provoke violent reaction or emotions shall not be employed or used in political campaigns.
(3) Places designated for religious worship, police station, and public offices shall not be used-
(a) for political campaigns, rallies and processions; or
(b) to promote, propagate or attack political parties, candidates or their programmes or ideologies.
(7) A political party or persons who contravenes any of the provision of this section is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction-
(a) in the case of an individual, to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 or imprisonment for the term of 12 months; and
(b) in the case of a political party, to a fine of N2,000,000 in the first instance, and N1,000,000 for any subsequent offence.
(8) Any person or group of persons who aids or abets a political party in contravening the provisions of subsection (5) of this section guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N500,000 or 3 years imprisonment or both.

CAMPAIGN BASED ON RELIGION, TRIBE, ETC
102-Any candidate, person or association who engages in campaigning or broadcasting based on religious, tribal, or sectional reason for the purpose of promoting or opposing a particular political party or the election of a particular candidate, is guilty of an offence under this Act and on conviction shall be liable to a maximum fine of N1,000,000 or imprisonment for twelve months or to both.

GROUNDS FOR PETITION
138.-(1) An election may be questioned on any of the following grounds, that is to
say:
(a) that a person whose election is questioned was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election;
(b) that the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or noncompliance with the provisions of this Act;
(c) that the respondent was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election; or
(d) that the petitioner or its candidate was validly nominated but was unlawfully excluded from the election.
(2) An act or omission which may be contrary to an instruction or directive of the Commission or of an officer appointed for the purpose of the election but which is not contrary to the provisions of this Act shall not of itself be a ground for questioning the election.

NULLIFICATION OF ELECTION BY TRIBUNAL OR COURT
140. -(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, if the Tribunal or the Court as the case may be, determines that a candidate who was returned as elected was not validly elected on any ground, the Tribunal or the Court shall nullify the election.
(2) Where an election tribunal or court nullifies an election on the ground that the person who obtained the highest votes at the election was not qualified to contest the election, the election tribunal or court shall not declare the person with the second highest votes as elected, but shall order a fresh election.
(3) If the Tribunal or the Court determines that a candidate who was returned as elected was not validly elected on the ground that he did not score the majority of valid votes cast at the election, the Election Tribunal or the Court, as the case may be, shall declare as elected the candidate who scored the highest number of valid votes cast at the election and satisfied the
requirements of the Constitution and this Act.
(4) Subject to the provision of subparagraph (2) of paragraph 53 of the First Schedule to this Act, on the motion of a respondent in an election petition, the Election Tribunal or the Court, as the case may be, may strike out an election petition on the ground that it is not in accordance with the provisions of this part of this Act, or the provisions of First Schedule of this Act.

ACCELERATED HEARING OF ELECTION PETITIONS
142- Without prejudice to the provisions of section 294 subsection (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria an election petition and an appeal arising therefrom under this Act shall be given accelerated hearing and shall have precedence over all other cases or matters before the Tribunal or Court.

TIME FOR PRESENTING ELECTION PETITION
134. -(1) ―(1) An election petition shall be filed within 21 days after the date of the declaration of results of the elections;
(2) An election tribunal shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition;
(3) An appeal from a decision of an election tribunal or court shall be heard and disposed of within 90 days from the date of the delivery of judgment of the tribunal;
(4) The court in all appeals from election tribunals may adopt the practice of first giving its decision and reserving the reasons thereto for the decision to a later date.
INEC1

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