Section 140(2) and 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010 of Nigeria: A Legislative Mockery


Nigeria as a democratic country has three divisions of government. These are; Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary. These three arms of government function independently of each other. Each of these branches of government is a creation of the law and functions within the limits marked out for it by the law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended). The Legislature is the law making organ of government. By virtue of section 4 of the Constitution, the legislative power of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is vested in the National Assembly which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The National Assembly has power to make law for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any path thereof. The House of Assembly at the State level makes law for the peace, order and good government of the State or any path thereof. The exercise of legislative power by the National Assembly or by a State House of Assembly is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of law and judicial tribunals established by law. Therefore, the National Assembly or a State House of Assembly shall not enact any law that oust or purports to oust the jurisdiction of a court of law or of a judicial tribunal established by law. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Any law which is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void. This paper examines the legal status of section 140(2) and 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010, which prevents the Tribunals or Courts from pronouncing winners of elections. The section of the Act only allowed the Tribunal and Courts to order for re-run elections. The National Assembly by enacting that Act ousted the jurisdiction of the Courts and thereby ran foul of the constitutional provision. The paper contends that the National Assembly acted in excess of its legislative powers and any action taken by any of the authorities without or in excess of its legal authority or power is ultra vires the Constitution and therefore void. 

Keywords: Electoral Act, Legislative Mockery, Nigeria, Section 140(2), Section 141

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 50-62 (Download PDF)

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