Section 133-145 of the Nigerian Electoral Act 2010

Section 133-145 of the Nigerian Electoral Act 2010

Section 133 to 145 of the Nigerian Electoral Act 2010 is under PART VIII (DETERMINATION OF ELECTION PETITIONS ARISING FROM ELECTIONS) of the act.

Section 133 of the Electoral Act 2010

Proceedings to question an election

(1) No election and return at an election under this
Act shall be questioned in any manner other than by
a petition complaining of an undue election or undue
return (in this Act referred to as an “election petition”)
presented to the competent tribunal or court in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or
of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned
is joined as a party.

(2) In this part, “tribunal or court 11 means-
(a) in the case of Presidential or Governorship election,
the court of Appeal; and
(b) in the case of any other elections under this Bill, the
election tribunal established under the Constitution or
by this Bill.
(3) The election tribunals shall-
(a) be constituted not later than 14 days before the
election; and
(b) when constituted, open their registries for business 7
days before the election.

Section 134 of the Electoral Act 2010

Time for presenting election petition

(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.

Section 135 of the Electoral Act 2010

Establishment of Area Council Election Tribunal

(1) There shall be established for the Federal Capital
Territory one or more Election Tribunals (in this Act
referred to as the Area Council Election Tribunal)
which shall, to the exclusion of any other court or
tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and
determine any question as to whether-
(a) any person has been validly elected to the office of
Chairman, ViceChairman or Councillor;
(b) the term of office of any person elected to the office
of Chairman, ViceChairman or Councillor has ceased;
(c) the seat of a member of an Area Council has become
vacant; and
(d) a question or petition brought before the Area Council
Election Tribunal has been properly or improperly
brought;

(2) An Area Council Election Tribunal shall consist of a
Chairman and two other members.
(3) The Chairman shall be a Chief Magistrate and two
other members shall be appointed from among
Magistrates of the Judiciary of the Federal Capital
Territory, Abuja and legal practitioners of at least 10
years post-call experience, non-legal practitioners of
unquestionable integrity or other members of the
Judiciary of the Federal Capital Territory not below the
rank of a Magistrate.

Section 136 of the Electoral Act 2010

Establishment of Area Council Election Appeal Tribunal

(1) There shall be established for the Federal Capital
Territory (FCT) the Area Council Election Appeal
Tribunal which shall to the exclusion of any other court
or tribunal hear and determine appeals arising from
the decision of the Area Council Election Petition
Tribunal.

(2) The decision of the Area Council Election Appeal
Tribunal ill respect of Area Council elections shall be
final.

(3) An Area Council Election Appeal Tribunal shall consist
of a Chairman and two other members and the
Chairman shall be a Judge of the High Court and the
two other members shall be appointed from among
Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital
Territory, Abuja, Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal
of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Judges of the
Customary Court of Appeal or other members of the
Judiciary of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja not
below the rank of a Chief Magistrate.

(4) The quorum of an Area Council Election Tribunal shall
be the Chairman and one other member.

Section 137 of the Electoral Act 2010

Persons entitled to present election petitions

(1) An election petition may be presented by one or
more of the Persons entitled to present following
persons-
(a) a candidate in an election;
(b) a political party which participated in the election;
(2) A person whose election is complained of is, in this
Act, referred to as the respondent.

(3) If the petitioner complains of the conduct of an
Electoral Officer, a Presiding or Returning Officer, it
shall not be necessary to join such officers or
persons notwithstanding the nature of the complaint
and the Commission shall, in this instance, be-
(a) made a respondent; and
(b) deemed to be defending the petition for itself and on
behalf its officers or such other persons.

Section 138 of the Electoral Act 2010

Grounds of petition

(1) An election may be questioned on any of the
following grounds, that Grounds of petition 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.

Section 139 of the Electoral Act 2010

Certain defects not to invalidate election

(1) An Election shall not be liable to be invalidated by
reason of noncompliance with the provisions of this
Act if it appears to the Election Tribunal or Court that
the election was conducted substantially in
accordance with the principles of this Act and that the
non compliance did not affect substantially the result
of the election.

(2) An election shall not be liable to be questioned by
reason of a defect in the title, or want of title of the
person conducting the election or acting in the office
provided such a person has the right or authority of
the Commission to conduct the election.

Section 140 of the Electoral Act 2010

Nullification of election by Tribunal or Court

(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 paragraph 53(2) 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.

Section 141 of the Electoral Act 2010

Effect of non participation in an election

An election tribunal or court shall not under any
circumstance declare any person a winner at an
election in which such a person has not fully
participated in all the stages of the said election.

Section 142 of the Electoral Act 2010

Accelerated hearing of election petitions

Without prejudice to the provisions of section 294(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.

Section 143 of the Electoral Act 2010

Person elected to remain in office pending determination of appeal

(1) If the Election Tribunal or the Court, as the case
may be, determines that a candidate returned as
elected was not validly elected, then if notice of appeal
against that decision is given within 21 days from the
date of the decision, the candidate returned as elected
shall, notwithstanding the contrary decision of the
Election Tribunal or the Court, remain in office
pending the determination of the appeal.

(2) If the Election Tribunal or the Court, as the case
maybe, determines that a candidate returned as
elected was not validly elected, the candidate
returned as elected shall, notwithstanding the
contrary decision of the Election Tribunal or the Court,
remain in office pending the expiration of the period
of 21 days within which an appeal may be brought.

Section 144 of the Electoral Act 2010

Legal representation of Commission, etc.

(1) Where the Commission, an Electoral Officer,
Retuning 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 shall
represent the Commission, Electoral Officer, Presiding
Officer, Returning Officer or other official of the
Commission at the Tribunal or Court.

(2) 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) may represent
the Commission and the Officers referred to in
subsection (1) of this section with the written consent
or authority of the Commission.

(3) A private Legal Practitioner or Legal Officer engaged
by the Commission pursuant to subsections (1) and
(2) of this Section shall be entitled to be paid such
professional fees or honorarium, as the case may be,
to be determined by the Commission.

Section 145 of the Electoral Act 2010

Rules of procedure for election petition

(1) The rules of procedure to be adopted for election
petitions and appeals arising therefrom shall be as set
out in the First Schedule to this Act.
(2) The President of the Court of Appeal may issue
practice directions to election tribunals.


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

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