Who can go court to challenge election rigging?

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The 2023 presidential and gubernatorial elections have sparked a lot of reactions from Nigerians who have raised eyebrows as regards the whole process and results of same as some say marred with election rigging.

This had began with the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president elect of the 2023 presidential election down to vote buying, smashing and destruction of ballot boxes, carting away of ballot boxes and papers, intimidation and use of force on voters to vote for  a particular candidate, beating, flogging and maiming of citizens and voters around the polling centres.

The issue of the shortcomings of BVAS(Bimodal Voters Accreditation Systerm) where the votes of voters had been stored which ordinarily should have been uploaded with ease and transparency but was claimed by the INEC(Independent Electoral Commission) to have shut down and not responding,is one of the key major reason Nigerians have raised eyebrow as regards the whole process and feel that they have once again been cheated by the ruling and oppressing class.

For many Nigerians, the whole idea of democracy was not reflected has they were been intimated to vote for a particular candidate and if they were not intimated, the votes were not able to be shown as regards the whole BVAS issue.

For many Nigerians, the tyrannical and oppressive act meted on them directly and indirectly should not go unchallenged and as such, many have sought avenues to get justice.

Whilst many may have grievances and agitations has regards the whole electoral process, we must strictly abide by what the law holds in matters related to electoral irregularities. 

On where there are irregularities as regards the whole electoral processes, , Section 133(1), Electoral Act 2022; “An election petition may be presented by one or more of the following persons-

(a)a candidate in an election; or 

(b)a political party which participated in the election.

With the above section, it simply means that, where there is observed election rigging, a candidate who participated in the election is the one to institute an action in court for such irregularity.

Another person is the political party. Now it must be understood that where a political had not participated in the election, that is, they didn’t bring out a candidate to represent the political party in the election, they can not bring an action for electoral irregularity.

It suffices to state that, where a candidate to an election does not bring an action for electoral irregularities, the political party can do and where the political party of such candidate does not do so, then, no one can bring an action for electoral irregularities.

LEGALJOE who is also JOSEPH ALIU is a LAW undergraduate, OOU Chapter and can be reached via 09131704196, 09085773212, aliujoseph085@gmail.com

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