Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How have the tribunals fared?

The Nation
6 October 2011

By Kamarudeen Ogundele

It is six months after the April elections. By law, the various election petition tribunals have 180 days to decide cases filed before them. This is therefore, the last lap. How are the tribunals coping with the petitions?  Correspondent KAMARUDEEN OGUNDELE presents the position of the law and reports the cases already decided.

The Election Tribunals are established pursuant to Section 285 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. They are to hear petitions arising from disputed election results.

Although the last general elections had been adjudged as largely free and fair, the constitution made provisions for adjudicating disputes. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is not oblivious of the facts that the exercise may have gone awry in some locations.

Recently, the commission admitted that it still had a long way to go in organising flawless elections. It raised an eight-member Registration and Election Review Committee (RERC) chaired by Adele Jinadu, a Professor of Political Science and former National Electoral Commissioner, to conduct an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the last exercise.

The position of INEC on the 2011 general elections reinforced the fears raised by some aggrieved candidates and political parties that electoral malpractices began from voters registration.

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