First Schedule – Nigerian Electoral Act 2010

Table of Contents

First Schedule – Nigerian Electoral Act 2010

Rules of Procedure for Election Petitions

  1. In this Schedule-
    “Attorney-General” means the Attorney-General of the
    Federation and includes the Attorney-General of a State
    where the context admits;
    “Civil Procedure Rules” means the Civil Procedure Rules of
    the Federal High Court for the time being in force;
    “Election” means any election under this Act to which an
    election petition relates;
    “Registry” means a Registry set up for an Election Tribunal
    established by the Constitution or this Act or the Registry
    of the Court of Appeal;
    “Secretary” means the Secretary of an election Tribunal
    established by the Constitution or this Act and shall include
    the Registrar of the Court of Appeal or any officer or Clerk
    acting for him;
    “Tribunal” means an Election Tribunal established under
    this Act or the Court of Appeal;
    “Tribunal Notice Board” means a notice board at the
    Registry or a notice board at the place of hearing where
    notice of presentation of election petition or notice of
    hearing an election petition or any other notice may be
    given or posted.

SECURITY FOR COSTS

  1. (1) At the time of presenting an election petition, the
    petitioner shall give security for all costs which may
    become payable by him to a witness summoned on
    his behalf or to a respondent.

    (2) The security shall be of such amount not less than
    N5,000.00 as the Tribunal or Court may order and
    shall be given by depositing the amount with the
    Tribunal or Court.

    (3) Where two or three persons join in an election
    petition, a deposit as may be ordered under
    subparagraph (2) of this paragraph of this Schedule
    shall be sufficient.
    (4) If no security is given as required by this paragraph,
    there shall be no further proceedings on the election
    petition.

PRESENTATION OF ELECTION PETITION

  1. (1) The presentation of an election petition under this
    Act shall be made by the petitioner (or petitioners if
    more than one) in person, or by his Solicitor, if any,
    named at the foot of the election petition to the
    Secretary, and the Secretary shall give a receipt.

    (2) The Petitioner shall, at the time of presenting the
    election petition, deliver to the Secretary a copy of the
    election petition for each respondent and ten other
    copies to be preserved by the Secretary.

    (3) The Secretary shall compare the copies of the election
    petition received in accordance with subparagraph (2)
    of this paragraph with the original petition and shall
    certify them as true copies of the election petition on
    being satisfied by the comparison that they are true
    copies of the election petition.
    (4) The petitioner or his Solicitor, as the case may be,
    shall, at the time of presenting the election petition,
    pay the fees for the service and the publication of the
    petition, and for certifying the copies and, in default
    of the payment, the election petition shall be deemed
    not to have been received; unless the Tribunal or
    Court otherwise orders.

CONTENTS OF ELECTION PETITION

  1. (1) An election petition under
    this Act shall- (a) specify the parties
    interested in the election petition;
    (b) specify the right of the petitioner to present the
    election petition;
    (c) state the holding of the election, the scores of the
    candidates and the person returned as the winner of
    the election; and
    (d) state clearly the facts of the election petition and the
    ground or grounds on which the petition is based and
    the relief sought by the petitioner.

    (2) The election petition shall be divided into paragraphs
    each of which shall be confined to a distinct issue or
    major facts of the election petition, and every
    paragraph shall be numbered consecutively.
    (3) The election petition shall further-
    (a) conclude with a prayer or prayers, as for instance,
    that the petitioner or one of the petitioners be
    declared validly elected or returned, having polled the
    highest number of lawful votes cast at the election or
    that the election may be declared nullified, as the case
    may be; and
    (b) be signed by the petitioner or all petitioners or by the
    Solicitor, if any, named at the foot of the election
    petition.

    (4) At the foot of the election petition there shall also be
    stated an address of the petitioner for service at
    which address documents intended for the petitioner
    may be left and its occupier.
    (5) The election petition shall be accompanied by-
    (a) a list of the witnesses that the petitioner intends to
    call in proof of the petition;
    (b) written statements on oath of the witnesses; and
    (c) copies or list of every document to be relied on at the
    hearing of the petition.
    (6) A petition which fails to comply with sub-paragraph
    (5) of this paragraph shall not be accepted for filing
    by the secretary.

    (7) The election petition shall be accompanied by-
    (a) a list of the witnesses that the petitioner intends to
    call in proof of the petition;
    (b) written statements on oath of the witnesses; and
    (c) copies or list of every document to be relied on at the
    hearing of the petition.

    (8) A petition which fails to comply with subparagraph (7)
    of this paragraph shall not be accepted for filing by
    the Secretary.
    (9) An election petition, which does not comply with,
    subparagraph (1) of this paragraph or any provision
    of that subparagraph is defective and may be struck
    out by the Tribunal or Court.

FURTHER PARTICULARS.

  1. Evidence need not to be stated in the election petition,
    but the Tribunal or Court may order such further
    particulars as may be necessary –
    (a) to prevent surprise and unnecessary expense;
    (b) to ensure fair and proper hearing in the same way as
    in a civil action in the Federal High Court; and
    (c) on such terms as to costs or otherwise as may be
    ordered by the Tribunal or Court.

ADDRESS OF SERVICE

For the purpose of service of an election petition on the
respondents, the

  1. petitioner shall furnish the Secretary with the address
    of the respondents’ abode or the addresses of places
    where personal service can be effected on the
    respondents.

ACTION BY SECRETARY

  1. (1) On the presentation of an election petition and
    payment of the requisite fees, the Secretary shall
    forthwith –
    (a) cause notice of the presentation of the election
    petition, to be served on each of the respondents;
    (b) post on the tribunal notice board a certified copy of
    the election petition; and
    (c) set aside a certified copy for onward transmission to
    the person or persons required by law to adjudicate
    and determine the election petition.

    (2) In the notice of presentation of the election petition,
    the Secretary shall state a time, not being less than
    five days but not more than seven days after the date
    of service of the notice, within which each of the
    respondents shall enter an appearance in respect of
    the election petition.

    (3) In fixing the time within which the respondents are to
    enter appearance, the Secretary shall have regard to(
    a) the necessity for securing a speedy hearing of the
    election petition; and
    (b) the distance from the Registry or the place of hearing
    to the address furnished under paragraph 4(4) of this
    Schedule.

PERSONAL SERVICE ON RESPONDENT

  1. (1) Subject to subparagraph (2) and (3) of this
    paragraph, service on the respondents-
    (a) of the documents mentioned in subparagraph (1) (a)
    of paragraph 7 of this Schedule; and
    (b) of any other documents required to be served on them
    before entering appearance, shall be personal.

    (2) Where the petitioner has furnished, under paragraph
    6 of this Schedule, the addresses of the places where
    personal service can be effected on the respondents
    and the respondents or any of them cannot be found
    at the place or places, the tribunal or court on being
    satisfied, on an application supported by an affidavit
    showing that all reasonable efforts have been made to
    effect personal service, may order that service of any
    document mentioned in subparagraph (1) of this
    paragraph be effected in any ways mentioned in the
    relevant provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules for
    effecting substituted service in Civil cases and that
    service shall be deemed to be equivalent to personal
    service.

    (3) The proceedings under the election petition shall not
    be vitiated notwithstanding the fact that-
    (a) the respondents or any of them may not have been
    served personally; or
    (b) a document of which substituted service has been
    effected pursuant to an order made under
    subparagraph (2) of this paragraph did not reach the
    respondent, and in either case, the proceedings may
    be heard and continued or determined as if the
    respondents or any of them had been served
    personally with the document and shall be valid and
    effective for all purposes.

ENTRY OF APPEARANCE

  1. (1) Where the respondent intends to oppose the
    election petition, he shall-
    (a) within such time after being served or deemed to have
    been served with the election petition; or
    (b) where the Secretary has stated a time under
    paragraph 7(2) of this Schedule, within such time as
    is stated by the Secretary, enter an appearance by
    filing in the registry a memorandum of appearance
    stating that he intends to oppose the election petition
    and giving the name and address of the solicitor, if
    any, representing him or stating that he acts for
    himself, as the case may be, and, in either case,
    giving an address for service at which documents
    intended for him may be left or served.

    (2) If an address for service and its occupiers are not
    stated, the memorandum of appearance shall be
    deemed not to have been filed, unless the tribunal or
    court otherwise orders.
    (3) The memorandum of appearance shall be signed by
    the respondent or his solicitor, if any.

    (4) At the time of filing the memorandum of appearance,
    the respondent or his solicitor, as the case may be,
    shall-
    (a) leave a copy of the memorandum of appearance for
    each of the other parties to the election petition and
    three other copies of the memorandum to be
    preserved by the Secretary; and
    (b) pay the fees for service as may be prescribed or
    directed by the Secretary and in default of the copies
    being left and the fees being paid at the time of filing
    the memorandum of appearance, the memorandum
    of appearance shall be deemed not to have been filed,
    unless the tribunal or court otherwise orders.

    (5) A respondent who has a preliminary objection against
    the hearing of the election petition on grounds of law
    may file a conditional memorandum of appearance.

NON-FILLING OF MEMORANDUM OF APPEARANCE.

  1. (1) If the respondent does not file a memorandum of
    appearance as required under paragraph 9 of this
    Schedule, a document intended for service on him
    may be posted on the Tribunal notice board and that
    shall be sufficient notice of service of the document on
    the respondent.
    (2) The non-filling of a memorandum of appearance shall,
    not bar the respondent from defending the election
    petition if the respondent files his reply to the election
    petition in the Registry within a reasonable time, but,
    in any case, not later than twenty-one (21) days from
    the receipt of the election petition.

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE

  1. The Secretary shall cause copies of the memorandum
    of appearance to be served on, or its notice to be
    given to the other parties to the election petition.

FILING OF REPLY

  1. (1) The respondent shall, within 14 days of service of
    the petition on him file in the Registry his reply,
    specifying in it which of the facts alleged in the
    election petition he admits and which he denies, and
    setting out the facts on which he relies in opposition
    to the election petition.
    (2) Where the respondent in an election petition,
    complaining of an undue return and claiming the seat
    or office for a petitioner intends to prove that the claim
    is incorrect or false, the respondent in his reply shall
    set out the facts and figures clearly and distinctly
    disproving the claim of the petitioner.

    (3) The reply may be signed by the respondent or the
    solicitor representing him, if any and shall state the
    name and address of the solicitor at which subsequent
    processes shall be served; and shall be accompanied
    by copies of documentary evidence, list of witnesses
    and the written statements on oath.
    (4) At the time of filing the reply, the respondent or his
    Solicitor, if any, shall leave with the Secretary copies
    of the reply for services on the other parties to the
    election petition with ten (10) extra copies of the reply
    to be preserved by the Secretary, and pay the fees for
    service as may be prescribed or directed by the
    Secretary, and in default of leaving the required
    copies of the reply or paying the fees for service, the
    reply shall be deemed not to have been filed, unless
    the Tribunal or Court otherwise orders.

SERVICE OF REPLY

  1. The Secretary shall cause a copy of the reply to be
    served on each of the other parties to the election
    petition.

AMENDMENT OF ELECTION PETITION AND REPLY.

  1. (1) Subject to subparagraph (2) of this paragraph,
    the provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules relating to
    amendment of pleadings shall apply in relation to an
    election petition or a reply to the election petition as
    if for the words “any proceedings” in those provisions
    there were substituted the words “the election petition
    or reply”.
    (2) After the expiration of the time limited by-
    (a) Section 134 (1) of this Act for presenting the election
    petition, no amendment shall be made-
    (i) introducing any of the requirements of subparagraph
    (1) of paragraph 4 of this Schedule not contained in
    the original Election petition filed, or
    (ii) effecting a substantial alteration of the ground for, or
    the prayer in, the election petition, or
    (iii) except anything which may be done under the
    provisions of subparagraph (2)(a)(ii) of this
    paragraph, effecting a substantial alteration of or
    addition to, the statement of facts relied on to support
    the ground for, or sustain the prayer in the election
    petition; and
    (b) paragraph 12 of the Schedule for filing the reply, no
    amendment shall be made-
    (i) alleging that the claim of the seat or office by the
    petitioner is incorrect or false; or
    (ii) except anything which may be done under theprovisions
    of subparagraph (2)(a)(ii) of this
    paragraph, effecting any substantial alteration in or
    addition to the admissions or the denials contained in
    the original reply filed, or to the facts set out in the
    reply.
SEE ALSO  Section 1-24 of the Electoral Act 2010

PARTICULARS OF VOTES REJECTED

  1. When a petitioner claims the seat alleging that he had
    the highest number of valid votes cast at the election,
    the party defending the election or return at the
    election shall set out clearly in his reply particulars of
    the votes, if any, which he objects to and the reasons
    for his objection against such votes, showing how he
    intends to prove at the hearing that the petitioner is
    not entitled to succeed.

PETITIONER’S REPLY

  1. (1) If a person in his reply to the election petition
    raises new issues of facts in defence of his case which
    the petition has not dealt with, the petitioner shall be
    entitled to file in the Registry, within five (5) days
    from the receipt of the respondent’s reply, a
    petitioner’s reply in answer to the new issues of fact,
    so however that-
    (a) the petitioner shall not at this stage be entitled to
    bring in new facts, grounds or prayers tending to
    amend or add to the contents of the petition filed by
    him; and
    (b) the petitioner’s reply does not run counter to the
    provisions of subparagraph (1) of paragraph 14 of this
    Schedule.
    (2) the time limited by subparagraph (1) of this
    paragraph shall not be extended.
    (3) The petitioner in proving his case shall have 14 days
    to do so and the respondent shall have 14 days to
    reply.

FURTHER PARTICULARS OR DIRECTIVE

  1. (l) If a party in an election petition wishes to have
    further particulars or other directions of the Tribunal
    or Court, he may, at any time after entry of
    appearance, but not later than ten days after the filing
    of the reply, apply to the Tribunal or Court specifying
    in his notice of motion the direction for which he prays
    and the motion shall, unless the Tribunal or Court
    otherwise orders, be set down for hearing on the first
    available day.
    (2) If a party does not apply as provided in subparagraph
    (1) of this paragraph, he shall be taken to require no
    further particulars or other directions and the party
    shall be barred from so applying after the period laid
    down in subparagraph (l) of this paragraph has
    lapsed.
    (3) Supply of further particulars under this paragraph
    shall not entitle the party to go beyond the ambit of
    supplying such further particulars as have been
    demanded by the other party, and embark on undue
    amendment of,
    or additions to, his petition or reply, contrary to
    paragraph 14 of this Schedule.

PRE-HEARING SESSION AND SCHEDULING

  1. (1) Within 7 days after the filing and service of the
    petitioner’s reply on the respondent or 7 days after
    the filing and service of the respondent’s reply,
    whichever is the case, the petitioner shall apply for
    the issuance of pre-hearing notice as in Form TF 007.

    (2) Upon application by a petitioner under sub-paragraph
    (1) of this paragraph, the tribunal or court shall issue
    to the parties or their Legal Practitioners (if any) a
    pre-hearing conference notice as in Form TF 007
    accompanied by a pre-hearing information sheet as in
    Form TF 008 for-
    (a) the disposal of all matters which can be dealt with on
    interlocutory application;
    (b) giving such directions as to the future course of the
    petition as appear best adapted to secure its just,
    expeditious and economical disposal in view of the
    urgency of election petitions;
    (c) giving directions on order of witnesses to be called
    and such documents to be tendered by each party to
    prove their cases having in view the need for the
    expeditious disposal of the petition; and
    (d) fixing clear dates for hearing of the petition.

    (3) The respondent may bring the application in
    accordance with subparagraph (l) where the
    petitioner fails to do so, or by motion which shall be
    served on the petitioner and returnable in 3 clear
    days, apply for an order to dismiss the petition.

    (4) Where the petitioner and the respondent fail to bring
    an application under this paragraph, the tribunal or
    court shall dismiss the petition as abandoned petition
    and no application for extension of time to take that
    step shall be filed or entertained.
    (5) Dismissal of a petition pursuant to subparagraphs (3)
    and (4) of this paragraph is final, and the tribunal or
    court shall be functus officio.

    (6) At the pre-hearing session, the tribunal or court shall
    enter a scheduling
    Order for-
    (a) joining other parties to the petition;
    (b) amending petition or reply or any other processes;
    (c) filing and adoption of written addresses on all
    interlocutory applications;
    (d) additional pre-hearing session;
    (e) order of witnesses and tendering of documents that
    will be necessary for the expeditious disposal of the
    petition; and
    (f) any other matters that will promote the quick
    disposal of the petition in the circumstances.

    (7) At the pre-hearing session, the tribunal or court shall
    consider and take appropriate action in respect of the
    following as may be necessary or desirable-
    (a) amendments and further and better particulars;
    (b) the admissions of facts, documents and other
    evidence by consent of the parties;
    (c) formulation and settlement of issues for trial;
    (d) hearing and determination of 0bjections on point of
    law;
    (e) control and scheduling of discovery; inspection and
    production of documents,
    (f) narrowing the field of dispute between certain types
    of witnesses especially the Commission’s staff and
    witnesses that officiated at the election, by their
    participation at prehearing session or in any other
    manner;
    (g) giving orders or directions for hearing of crosspetitions
    or any particular issue in the petition or for
    consolidation with other petitions;
    (h) determining the form and substance of the prehearing
    order; and
    (i) such other matters as may facilitate the just and
    speedy disposal of the petition bearing in mind the
    urgency of election petitions.

    (8) At the pre-hearing session, the tribunal or court shall
    ensure that hearing is not delayed by the number of
    witnesses and objections to documents to be tendered
    and shall pursuant to paragraph (b), (e), (b) and (e)
    of this paragraph-
    (a) allow parties to admit or exclude documents by
    consent;
    (b) direct parties to streamline the number of witnesses
    to those whose testimonies are relevant and
    indispensable.
    (9) The pre-hearing session or series of the pre-hearing
    sessions with respect to any petition shall be
    completed within 14 days of its commencement, and
    the parties and their legal practitioners shall
    cooperate with the tribunal or court in working within
    this time table. As far as practicable, pre-hearing
    sessions shall be held from day to day or adjourned
    only for purposes of compliance with pre-hearing
    sessions, unless extended by the Chairman or the
    Presiding Justice.

    (10) After a pre-hearing session or series of pre-hearing
    sessions the tribunal or court shall issue a report and
    this report shall guide the subsequent course of the
    proceedings, unless modified by the tribunal or court.
    (11) If a party or his Legal Practitioner fails to attend the
    pre-hearing sessions or obey a scheduling or prehearing
    order or is substantially unprepared to
    participate in the session or fails to participate in good
    faith, the tribunal or court shall in the case of –
    (a) the petitioner, dismiss the petition; and
    (b) a respondent enter judgment against him.

    (12) Any judgment given under subparagraph (11) of this
    paragraph, may be set aside upon an application
    made within 7 days of the judgment (which shall not
    be extended) with an order as to costs of a sum not
    less than N20,000.
    (13) The application shall be accompanied by an
    undertaking to participate effectively in the prehearing
    session jointly signed by the applicant and the
    Legal Practitioner representing him.

HEARING OF PETITION TO BE IN OPEN TRIBUNAL OR COURT

  1. Every election petition shall be heard and determined
    in an open tribunal or court.

TIME AND PLACE OF HEARING PETITION

  1. (1) Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (2) of
    this paragraph, the time and place of the hearing of an
    election petition shall be fixed by the Tribunal or Court
    and notice of the time and place of the hearing, which
    may be as in Form TF. 005 set out in Second Schedule
    to this Act, shall be given by the Secretary at least five
    days before the day fixed for the hearing by-
    (a) posting the notice on the tribunal notice board; and
    (b) sending a copy of the notice by registered post or
    through a messenger to the –
    (i) petitioner’s address for service;
    (ii) respondent’s addresses for service, if any; or
    (iii) Resident Electoral Commissioner or the Commission
    as the case may be.
    (2) In fixing the place of hearing, the Tribunal or Court
    shall have due regard to the proximity to and
    accessibility from the place where the election was
    held.

NOTICE OF HEARING

  1. A tribunal or court, as the case may be, shall publish
    the notice of hearing by causing a copy of the notice
    to be displayed in the place which was appointed for
    the delivery of nomination papers prior to the election
    or in some conspicuous place or places within the
    constituency, but failure to do so or any miscarriage
    of the copy of notice of hearing shall not affect the
    proceedings if it does not occasion injustice against
    any of the parties to the election petition.

POSTING OF NOTICE ON TRIBUNAL NOTICE BOARD DEEMED TO BE GOOD NOTICE

  1. The posting of the notice of hearing on the Tribunal
    notice board shall be deemed and taken to be good
    notice, and the notice shall not be vitiated by any
    miscarriage of the copy or copies of the notice sent
    pursuant to paragraph 16 of this Schedule.

POSTPONEMENT OF HEARING

  1. (1) The Tribunal or Court may, from time to time, by
    order made on the application of a party to the
    election petition or at the instance of the Tribunal or
    Court, postpone the beginning of the hearing to such
    day as the Tribunal or Court may consider appropriate
    having regard at all times to the need for speedy
    conclusion of the hearing of the election petition.
    (2) A copy of the order shall be sent by the Secretary by
    registered post or messenger to the Electoral Officer
    or the Resident Electoral Commissioner or the
    Commission who shall publish the order in the manner
    provided in paragraph 20 of this Schedule for
    publishing the notice of hearing, but failure on the part
    of the Electoral Officer or Resident Electoral
    Commissioner or the Commission to publish the copy
    of the order of postponement shall not affect the
    proceedings in any manner whatsoever.
    (3) The Secretary shall post or cause to be posted on the
    tribunal notice board a copy of the order.
    (4) Where the tribunal or court gives an order of
    postponement at its own instance, a copy of the order
    shall be sent by the Secretary by registered post or
    messenger to the address for service given by the
    petitioner and to the address for service, if any, given
    by the respondents or any of them.
    (5) The provisions of paragraph 21 of this Schedule shall
    apply to an order or a notice of postponement as they
    do to the notice of hearing. Non arrival of
    Chairman of Tribunal or Presiding Justice of the Court
  2. If the Chairman of the Tribunal or Presiding Justice of
    the Court has not arrived at the appointed time for the
    hearing or at the time to which the hearing has been
    postponed, the hearing shall, by reason of that fact,
    stand adjourned to the following day and so from day
    to day.

HEARING CONTINUES FROM DAY TO DAY

  1. (1) No formal adjournment of the Tribunal or Court
    for the hearing of an, election petition shall be
    necessary, but the hearing shall be deemed adjourned
    and may be continued from day to day until the
    hearing is concluded, unless the Tribunal or Court
    otherwise directs as the circumstances may dictate.
    (2) If the Chairman of the Tribunal or the Presiding Justice
    of the Court who begins the hearing of an election
    petition is disabled by illness or otherwise, the hearing
    may be recommended and concluded by another
    Chairman of the Tribunal or Presiding Justice of the
    Court appointed by the appropriate authority.

ADJOURNMENT OF HEARING

  1. (1) After the hearing of an election petition has begun,
    if the inquiry cannot be continued on the ensuing day
    or, if that day is a Sunday or a Public Holiday, on the
    next day, the hearing shall not be adjourned sine die
    but to a definite day to be announced before the rising
    of the Tribunal or Court and notice of the day to which
    the hearing is adjourned shall forthwith be posted by
    the Secretary on the notice board.
    (2) The hearing may be continued on a Saturday or on a
    Public Holiday if circumstances dictate.

POWER OF CHAIRMAN OF THE TRIBUNAL OR THE PRESIDING JUSTICE OF THE COURT TO DISPOSE ON INTERLOCUTORY MATTERS

  1. (1) All interlocutory questions and matters may be
    heard and disposed of by the Chairman of the Tribunal
    or the Presiding Justice of the Court who shall have
    control over the proceedings as a Judge in the Federal
    High Court.
    (2) After the hearing of the election petition is concluded,
    if the tribunal or court before which it was heard has
    prepared its judgment but the Chairman or the
    Presiding Justice is unable to deliver it due to illness
    or
    any other cause, the judgment may be delivered by
    one of the members, and the judgment as delivered
    shall be the judgment of the Tribunal or Court and the
    member shall certify the decision of the Tribunal or
    Court to the Resident Electoral Commissioner, or to
    the Commission.

EFFECT OF DETERMINATION OF ELECTION PETITION

  1. (1) At the conclusion of the hearing, the Tribunal shall
    determine whether a person whose election or return
    is complained of or any other person, and what
    person, was validly returned or elected, or whether
    the election was void, and shall certify the
    determination to the Resident Electoral Commissioner
    or the Commission.

    (2) If the tribunal or court has determined that the
    election is invalid, then, subject to section 138 of this
    Act, where there is an appeal and the appeal fails, a
    new election shall be held by the Commission.
    (3) Where a new election is to be held under the
    provisions of this paragraph, the Commission shall
    appoint a date for the election which shall not be later
    than 3 months from the date of the determination.
SEE ALSO  Section 78-102 of the Nigerian Electoral Act 2010

WITHDRAWAL OR ABATEMENT OF PETITION

  1. (1) An election petition shall not be withdrawn without
    leave of the Tribunal or Court.
    (2) Where the petitioners are more than one no
    application for leave to withdraw the election petition
    shall be made except with the consent of all the
    petitioners.
    (3) The application for leave to withdraw an election shall
    be made by motion after notice of the application has
    been given to the respondents.

    (4) The notice of motion shall state the grounds on which
    the motion to withdraw is based, supported with
    affidavit verifying the facts and reasons for
    withdrawal, signed by the petitioner or petitioners in
    the presence of the Secretary.

    (5) At the time of filing the notice of motion the petitioner
    or petitioners shall leave copies for service on the
    respondent.
    (6) The petitioner or petitioners shall also file the
    affidavits required under subparagraph (4) of this
    paragraph together with copies for each respondent
    and pay the fees prescribed or directed by the
    Secretary for services.

AFFIDAVITS AGAINST ILLEGAL TERM OF WITHDRAWAL

  1. (1) Before the leave for Withdrawal of an election
    petition is granted, each of the parties to the petition
    shall produce an affidavit, stating that-
    (a) to the best of the deponent’s knowledge and belief no
    agreement or term of any kind whatsoever has been
    made; and
    (b) no undertaking has been entered into, in relation to
    the withdrawal of the petition, but if any lawful
    agreement has been made with respect to the
    withdrawal of the petition, the affidavit shall set forth
    that agreement and shall make the foregoing
    statement subject to what appears from the affidavit.

TIME FOR HEARING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO WITHDRAW PETITION

  1. (1) The time for hearing the motion for leave to
    withdraw the election petition shall be fixed by the
    Tribunal or Court.
    (2) The Secretary may give notice of the day fixed for the
    hearing of the motion to the respondents and post or
    cause to be posted on the Tribunal notice board a copy
    of the notice.

PAYMENT OF COSTS TO RESPONDENTS

  1. If the election petition is withdrawn, the petitioner
    shall be liable to pay appropriate costs to the
    respondents or any of them unless the Tribunal or
    Court otherwise orders.

ABATEMENT OF PROCEEDINGS IN ELECTION PETITION

  1. (1) If a sole petitioner or the survivor of several
    petitioners dies, then, subject to subparagraphs (2)
    and (3) of this paragraph, there shall be no further
    proceedings on the election petition and the Tribunal
    or Court may strike it out of its cause list.
    (2) The death of a petitioner shall not affect his liability
    for the payment of costs previously incurred in the
    course of proceedings in respect of the election
    petition prior to its abatement.

    (3) Where notice, with copies for each party to the
    election petition supported by the affidavit of two
    witnesses testifying to the death of a sole petitioner
    or of the survivor of several petitioners, is given to the
    Secretary, he shall submit the notice to the tribunal or
    court and if the Tribunal or Court so directs, the
    Secretary shall-
    (a) serve notice thereof on the other parties to the
    petition;
    (b) post or cause to be posted a notice thereof on the
    Tribunal notice board; and
    (c) cause notice thereof to be published in conspicuous
    places in the constituency, in such form as the
    Tribunal or Court may direct.

NOTICE OF NO OPPOSITION TO PETITION

  1. (1) If before the hearing of an election petition, a
    respondent, other than the Electoral Officer, the
    Returning Officer or Presiding Officer, gives to the
    Tribunal or Court notice in writing signed by him or his
    Solicitor before the Secretary that he does not intend
    to oppose the election petition, the Secretary shall-
    (a) serve notice thereof on the other parties to the
    election petition; and
    (b) post or cause to be posted a notice thereof on the
    Tribunal notice board.

    (2) The respondent shall file the notice with a copy for
    each other party to the election petition not less than
    six days before the day appointed for hearing of the
    election petition.
    (3) A respondent who has given notice of his intention not
    to oppose the election petition shall not appear or act
    as a party against the election petition in any
    proceeding on it; but the giving of the notice shall not
    of itself cause him to cease to be a respondent.

COUNTERMAND OF NOTICE OF HEARING

  1. (1) Where a notice of the –
    (a) petitioner’s intention to apply for leave to withdraw
    an election petition;
    (b) death of the sole petitioner or the survivor of several
    petitioners; or
    (c) respondent’s intention not to oppose an election
    petition, is received after notice of hearing of the
    election petition has been given, and before the
    hearing has begun, the Secretary shall forthwith
    countermand the notice of hearing.
    (2) The countermand shall be given in the same manner,
    and, as near as may be, as the notice of hearing.

DISCRETION OF TRIBUNALS OR COURT IF NO REPLY

  1. Where the respondent has not entered an appearance,
    or has not filed his reply within the prescribed time or
    within such time as the tribunal or court may have
    allowed, or has given notice that he does not intend
    to oppose the petition, then if–
    (a) there remains no more than one other candidate in
    the election who was not returned;
    (b) the election petition contains no prayer for a
    determination that the election was void;
    (c) there are no facts or grounds stated in the election
    petition or in the reply, if any, or stated in any further
    particulars filed in the proceedings or otherwise
    appearing on proof of which it ought to be determined
    that election was void; or

    (d) the election petition is one complaining of undue
    return and claiming the seat or office for the candidate
    who was not returned and the respondent has not
    raised any formal or written objections to any of the
    votes relied on by the petitioner, the Tribunal or Court
    may, if it deems fit, determine the proceedings on the
    election petition without hearing evidence or further
    evidence, and in any case, the proceedings shall be
    continued and determined on such evidence or
    otherwise as the Tribunal or Court may deem
    necessary for the full and proper determination of the
    election petition.

FEES

  1. (1) The fee payable on the presentation of an election
    petition shall not be less than N1,000.00.
    (2) A hearing fee shall be payable for the hearing at the
    rate of N40 per day of the hearing but not exceeding
    N2000 in all, but the Tribunal or Court may direct a
    different fee to be charged for any day of the hearing.
    (3) For the purpose of subparagraph (2) of this
    paragraph, the petitioner shall make a deposit of not
    less than N2000 at the time of presenting his petition.
    (4) Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, the fees
    payable in connection with an election petition shall
    be at the rate prescribed for civil proceedings in the
    Federal High Court.
    (5) No fees shall be payable by the Attorney-General of
    the Federation (acting in person or through any other
    legal officer) or by a respondent who was the
    Commission or any of its officers appointed pursuant
    to the provisions of this Act.
    (6) No fees shall be payable for the summoning of
    witnesses by the Tribunal or Court at its own instance.

ALLOCATION OF COSTS

(1) All costs, charges and expenses of and incidental
to the presentation of an election petition and to the
proceedings consequent thereon, with the exception
of such as are otherwise provided for, shall be
defrayed by the parties to the election petition in such
manner and in such proportions as the Tribunal or
Court may determine, regard being had to the-

(a) disallowance of any costs, charges or expenses, which
may in the opinion of the Tribunal or Court have been
caused by vexatious conduct, unfounded allegation or
unfounded objection on the part of the petitioner or of
the respondent, as the case may be; and
(b) discouragement of any needless expenses by
throwing the burden of defraying the expenses on the
party by whom it has been caused; whether that party
is or is not on the whole successful.

(2) Where the Tribunal or Court declares an election to be
void, it may, if satisfied that the invalidity was due
either wholly or in part to the culpable default of an
officer responsible for the conduct of the election in
the performance of his duties, order that the whole or
part of the cost awarded to the successful petitioner
be paid by that officer.

RETURN OF SECURITY

  1. Money deposited as security shall, when no longer
    needed as security for costs, charges or expenses, be
    returned to the person in whose name it was
    deposited or to the person entitled to receive it by
    order of the Tribunal or Court which may be made on
    motion after notice and proof that all just claims have
    been satisfied or otherwise sufficiently provided for as
    the Tribunal or Court may require.

PAYMENT OF COSTS OUT OF SECURITY

  1. (1) The Tribunal or Court may, on application made
    by a person to whom costs, charges or expenses is
    payable, order it to be paid out of a deposit made to
    secure it, after notice to the party by or on whose
    behalf the deposit was made, requiring him to file a
    statement within a specified time whether he opposes
    the application and the ground of his opposition.

    (2) Where a dispute arises on an application under
    subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, the tribunal or
    court shall afford every person affected by the dispute
    an opportunity of being heard and shall make such
    order there on as it may deem fit.

    (3) A person shall be deemed to have been afforded the
    opportunity of being heard if notice of the appointed
    time for the inquiry into the dispute was given to him,
    though the person may not have been present at the
    making of the inquiry.

    (4) A notice to be given to a person under this paragraph
    may be given by the Secretary handing him the notice
    or sending it to him by registered letter in the case of(
    a) a party, at the address for service;
    (b) an application for payment, at the address given in
    his application, so however, that the provisions of this
    subparagraph shall not preclude the giving of notice
    in any other manner in which notice may be given or
    which may be authorized by the tribunal or court.
    (5) Execution may be levied under an order for payment
    made by the tribunal or court under this paragraph in
    the same manner and to the same extent as execution
    may be levied under judgment for the payment of
    money.

EVIDENCE AT HEARING

  1. (1) Subject to any statutory provision or any provision
    of these paragraphs relating to evidence, any fact
    required to be proved at the hearing of a petition shall
    be proved by written deposition and oral examination
    of witnesses in open court.
    (2) Documents which parties consented to at the prehearing
    session or other exhibits shall be tendered
    from the Bar or by the party where he is not
    represented by a legal practitioner.

    (3) There shall be no oral examination of a witness during
    his evidence inchief except to lead the witness to
    adopt his written deposition and tender
    in evidence all disputed documents or other exhibits
    referred to in the deposition.
    (4) Real evidence shall be tendered at the hearing.
    (5) The Tribunal or Court may, at or before the hearing
    of a petition order or direct that evidence of any
    particular fact be given at the hearing in such manner
    as may be specified by the order or direction.

    (6) The power conferred by subparagraph (5) of this
    paragraph extends in particular to ordering or
    directing that evidence of any particular fact be given
    at the trial-
    (a) by statement on oath of information or belief;
    (b) by the production of documents or entries in books;
    or
    (c) in the case of a fact which is of common knowledge
    either generally or in a particular district by the
    production of a specified newspaper which contains a
    statement of that fact.

    (7) The Tribunal or Court may, at or before the hearing of
    a petition order or direct that the number of witnesses
    who may be called at the hearing be limited as
    specified by the order or direction.

    (8) Save with leave of the Tribunal or Court, after an
    applicant has shown exceptional circumstances, no
    document, plan, photograph or model shall be
    received in evidence at the hearing of a petition unless
    it has been listed or filed along with the petition in the
    case of the petitioner or filed along with the reply in
    the case of the respondent.
    (9) Such leave may be granted with costs save where in
    the circumstance the tribunal or court considers
    otherwise.

CALLING OF WITNESSES

  1. (1) On the hearing of an election petition, the Tribunal
    or Court may summon a person as a witness who
    appears to the tribunal or court to have been
    concerned in the election.
    (2) The Tribunal or Court may examine a witness so
    summoned or any other person in the tribunal or
    court although the witness or person is not called
    and examined by a party to the election petition, and
    thereafter he may be cross-examined by or on behalf
    of the petitioner and the respondent.

    (3) The expenses of a witness called by the tribunal or
    court at its own instance shall, unless the Tribunal or
    Court otherwise orders, be deemed to be costs of the
    election petition and may, if the Tribunal or Court so
    directs, be paid in the first instance by the Secretary
    in the same way as State witness’ expenses and
    recovered in such manner as the tribunal or court
    may direct.
    (4) Where the Tribunal or Court summons a person as a
    witness under this paragraph, the provisions of the
    Civil Procedure Rules relating to the expenses of
    persons ordered to attend a hearing shall apply as if
    they were part of this paragraph.

    (5) The Tribunal or Court shall-
    (a) in making and carrying into effect an order for the
    production and inspection of documents used in the
    election; and
    (b) in the examination of any witness who produces or
    will produce a document, ensure that the way in which
    the vote of a particular person has been given shall
    not be disclosed.

PRIVILEGES OF A WITNESS

(1) A person called as a witness in a proceeding in the
Tribunal or Court shall not be excused from answering
a question relating to an offence or connected with an
election on the grounds that the answer thereto may
incriminate or tend to incriminate him, or on the
ground of privilege.

(2) A witness who answers truly all questions which he is
required by the tribunal or court to answer shall be
entitled to receive a certificate of indemnity under the
hand of the Chairman or the Tribunal or Presiding
Justice of the court stating that the witness has so
answered.
(3) An answer by a person to a question before the
Tribunal or Court shall not, except in the case of a
criminal proceeding for perjury in respect of the
answer, be admissible in any proceeding, civil or
criminal, in evidence against him.

(4) When a person has received a certificate of indemnity
in relation to an election and legal proceedings are at
any time brought against him for an offence against
the provisions of this Act, committed by him prior to
the date of the certificate at or in relation to that
election, the Tribunal or Court having cognizance of
the case shall, on proof of the certificate, stay the
proceeding, and may, at its discretion award to that
person such costs as he may have been put to in the
proceeding.

SEE ALSO  Section 133-145 of the Nigerian Electoral Act 2010

EVIDENCE OF RESPONDENT

  1. At the hearing of an election petition complaining of
    an undue return and claiming the seat or office for a
    petitioner, the respondent may, subject to the
    provisions of subparagraph (2) of paragraph 12 of this
    Schedule, give evidence to prove that the election of
    the petitioner was undue in the same manner as if he
    were the person presenting the election petition
    complaining of the election.

ENLARGEMENT AND ABRIDGEMENT OF TIME

  1. (1) The Tribunal or Court shall have power, subject to
    the provisions of section 134 of this Act and paragraph
    11 of this Schedule, to enlarge time
    for doing any act or taking any proceedings on such
    terms (if any) as the justice of the case i:nay require
    except otherwise provided by any other provision of
    this Schedule.
    (2) An enlargement of time may be ordered although the
    application for the enlargement is not made until after
    the expiration of the time appointed or allowed.

    (3) When the time for delivering a pleading or document
    or filing any affidavit, answer or document, or doing
    anything or act is or has been fixed or limited by any
    of the sections, paragraphs or rules under or in
    pursuance of this Act or by a direction or an order of
    the Tribunal or Court, the costs of an application to
    extend the time, where allowed or of an order made
    there on shall be borne by the party making the
    application unless the tribunal or court otherwise
    orders.
    (4) Every application for enlargement or abridgement of
    time shall be supported by affidavit.

    (5) An application for abridgement of time may be ex
    parte, but the Tribunal or Court may require notice of
    the application to be given to the other parties to the
    election petition.

    (6) An application for enlargement of time shall be made
    by motion after notice to the other party to the
    election petition but the Tribunal or Court may, for
    good cause shown by affidavit or otherwise, dispense
    with the notice.
    (7) A copy of an order made for enlargement or
    abridgement of time shall be filed or delivered
    together with any document filed or delivered by
    virtue of the order.

HEARING IN A PETITION

  1. (1) When a petition comes up for hearing and neither
    party appears, the Tribunal or Court shall, unless
    there are good reasons to the contrary, strike out the
    petition and no application shall be brought or
    entertained to re-list it.

    (2) When a petition comes up for hearing, if the petitioner
    appears and the respondent does not appear the
    petitioner may prove his petition so far as
    the burden of proof lies upon him and the tribunal or
    court shall enter a final judgment in the petition.
    (3) When a petition comes up for hearing, if the
    respondent appears and the petitioner does not
    appear, the respondent shall be entitled to final
    judgment dismissing the petition.
    (4) Documentary evidence shall be put in and may be
    read or taken as read by consent.
    (5) A party shall close his case when he has concluded his
    evidence and either the petitioner or respondent may
    make oral application to have the case closed.

    (6) Notwithstanding subparagraph (5) of this paragraph,
    the tribunal or court may suo-motu where it considers
    that either party fails to conclude its case within a
    reasonable time, close that party’s case.
    (7) The Secretary shall take charge of every document or
    object put in as exhibit during the hearing of a petition
    and shall mark or label every exhibit with a letter or
    letters indicating the party by whom the exhibit is put
    in (or where more convenient the witness by whom
    the exhibit is proved) and with a number so that all
    the exhibits put in by a party (or proved by a witness)
    are numbered in one consecutive series.
    (8) The Secretary shall cause a list of all the exhibits in
    the petition to be made which when completed shall
    form part of the record of the proceedings.

    (9) For the purpose of subparagraph (8) of this
    paragraph, a bundle of documents may be treated and
    counted as one exhibit.
    (10) When the party beginning has concluded his evidence,
    if the other party does not intend to call evidence, the
    party beginning shall within 10 days after close of
    evidence file a written address. Upon being served
    with the written address, the other party shall within
    7 days file his own written address.

    (11) Where the other party calls evidence, he shall within
    10 days after the close of its evidence file a written
    address.
    (12) Upon being served with other party’s written address
    the party beginning shall within 7 days file his written
    address.

    (13) The party who files the first address shall have a right
    of reply on points of law only and the reply shall be
    filed within 5 days after service of the other party’s
    address.

MOTIONS AND APPLICATIONS

  1. (1) No motion shall be moved and all motions shall
    come up at the prehearing session except in extreme
    circumstances with leave of Tribunal or Court.
    (2) Whereby these Rules any application is authorised to
    be made to the Tribunal or Court, such application
    shall be made by motion which may be supported by
    affidavit and shall state under what rule or law the
    application is brought and shall be served on the
    respondent.

    (3) Every such application shall be accompanied by a
    written address in support of the reliefs sought.
    (4) Where the respondent to the motion intends to
    oppose the application, he shall within 7 days of the
    service on him of such application file his written
    address and may accompany it with a counter
    affidavit.
    (5) The applicant may, on being served with the written
    address of the respondent file and serve an address
    in reply on points of law within 3 days of being served
    and where a counter-affidavit is served on the
    applicant he may file further affidavit with his reply.

SERVICE OF NOTICE

  1. (1) Where a summons, notice or document, other than
    a notice or document mentioned in subparagraph (1)
    of paragraph 7 of this Schedule, is required to be
    served on a person for a purpose connected with an
    election petition, it may be served by delivering it to
    the person or by leaving it at his last known place of
    abode in the constituency with any person there found
    who is a resident of the abode and appears to be 18
    years of age or more.

    (2) After a party has given an address for service it shall
    be sufficient if, in lieu of serving him personally with a
    document intended for him, the document is served
    on the person-
    (a) appearing on the paper last filed on his behalf as his
    Solicitor wherever the person may be found or, if the
    person is not found at his office, on the clerk there
    apparently in charge; or
    (b) named as occupier in his address for service wherever
    the person may be found or, if the person is not found
    at the address, on-
    (i) the person there found apparently in charge, if such
    address is a place or business, or
    (ii) a person, other than a domestic servant, there found
    who is a resident of the address and appears to be 18
    years of age or more.

    (3) A party may change his address for service by giving
    notice of his new address for service and its occupier
    to the Secretary and to each party to the election
    petition, but, until a notice, is received by the
    Secretary, his old address for service shall continue to
    be his address for service.
    (4) Where service by one of the modes specified in this
    paragraph has proved impracticable, the Tribunal or
    Court may, on being satisfied, on an application
    supported by an affidavit showing what has been
    done, that all reasonable efforts have been made to
    effect service –
    (a) order that service be effected in any of the ways
    mentioned in the provisions of the Civil Procedure
    Rules relating to substituted service which service
    shall be sufficient; or
    (b) dispense with service or notice as the tribunal or
    court deems fit.

TWO OR MORE CANDIDATES AS RESPONDENTS

  1. Two or more candidates may be made respondents to
    the same petition and their case may, for the sake of
    convenience be heard at the same time but for all
    purposes (including the taking of security) the election
    petition shall be deemed to be a separate petition
    against each of the respondents.

CONSOLIDATED PETITIONS

  1. Where two or more petitions are presented in relation
    to the same election or return, all the petitions shall
    be consolidated, considered and be dealt with as one
    petition unless the Tribunal or Court shall otherwise
    direct in order to do justice or an objection against
    one or more of the petitions has been upheld by the
    Tribunal or Court.

ELECTORAL OFFICER, ETC. AS RESPONDENTS

  1. (1) Where an election petition complains of the
    conduct of an Electoral Officer, a Presiding Officer,
    Returning Officer or any other official of the
    Commission he shall for all purposes be deemed to be
    a respondent and joined in the election petition as a
    necessary party, but an Electoral Officer, a Presiding
    Officer, Returning Officer or any other official of the
    Commission shall not be at liberty to decline from
    opposing the petition except with the written consent
    of the Attorney-General of the Federation.
    (2) If consent is withheld by the Attorney-General under
    subparagraph (1) of this paragraph the Government
    of the Federation shall indemnify the Electoral Officer,
    Presiding Officer, Returning Officer or such other
    official of the Commission against any costs which
    may be awarded against him by the Tribunal or Court
    in respect of the election petition.

    (3) Where the Commission, an Electoral Officer, a
    Presiding Officer, Returning Officer or any other
    official of the Commission has been joined as a
    respondent in an election petition, a Legal Officer of
    the Commission or a Legal Practitioner engaged by the
    Commission or the Attorney-General of the State
    concerned (acting in person or through any of his
    Legal Officers), or the Attorney-General of the
    Federation (acting in person or through any
    of his Legal Officers) shall represent the Commission
    Electoral Officer, Presiding Officer, Returning Officer
    or other official of the Commission at the Tribunal or
    Court.
    (4) A private Legal Practitioner engaged by the
    Commission under subparagraph (3) of this paragraph
    shall be entitled to be paid his professional fees and a
    Legal Officer so engaged shall be paid such
    honorarium as may be approved by the Commission.

DUPLICATE OF DOCUMENT

  1. In the absence of express provision in this Schedule,
    a party filing any document or process paper in
    connection with any step being taken in the
    proceedings of an election petition shall, unless the
    Secretary otherwise directs, leave with the Secretary
    copies of the document or process paper for service
    on each of the parties to the election petition in
    addition to three copies which the Secretary may
    preserve.

NONCOMPLIANCE WITH RULES, ETC.

  1. (1) Noncompliance with any of the provisions of this
    Schedule, or with a rule of practice for the time being
    operative, except otherwise stated or implied, shall
    not render any proceeding void, unless the Tribunal or
    Court so directs, but the proceeding may be set aside
    wholly or in part as irregular, or amended, or
    otherwise dealt with in such manner and on such
    terms as the Tribunal or Court may deem fit and just.

    (2) An application to set aside an election petition or a
    proceeding resulting there from for irregularity or for
    being a nullity, shall not be allowed unless made
    within a reasonable time and when the party making
    the application has not taken any fresh step in the
    proceedings after knowledge of the defect.

    (3) An application to set aside an election petition or a
    proceeding pertaining thereto shall show clearly the
    legal grounds on which the application is based.
    (4) An election petition shall not be defeated by an
    objection as to form if it is possible at the time the
    objection is raised to remedy the defect either by way
    of amendment or as may be directed by the Tribunal
    or Court.
    (5) An objection challenging the regularity or competence
    of an election petition shall be heard and determined
    after the close of pleadings.

APPLICATION OF RULES OF COURT

  1. Subject to the express provisions of this Act, the
    practice and procedure of the Tribunal or the Court in
    relation to an election petition shall be as nearly as
    possible, similar to the practice and procedure of the
    Federal High Court in the exercise of its civil
    jurisdiction, and the Civil Procedure Rules shall apply
    with such modifications as may be necessary to
    render them applicable having regard to the
    provisions of this Act, as if the petitioner and the
    respondent were respectively the plaintiff and the
    defendant in an ordinary civil action.

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE OF COURT OF APPEAL AND SUPREME COURT

  1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, an appeal to the
    Court of Appeal or to the Supreme Court shall be
    determined in accordance with the practice and
    procedure relating to civil appeals in the Court of
    Appeal or of the Supreme Court, as the case may be,
    regard being had to the need for urgency on electoral
    matters.

Credit: https://www.lawyard.ng/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/ELECTORAL-ACT-2010-2.pdf

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Inioluwa Olaposi

Hi, there. I'm Inioluwa, founder of LawHub NG. I study Law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. And I am interested in entrepreneurship and human development. Contact me at Inioluwa@lawhub.com.ng.

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