List of Electoral Bodies in Nigeria – An election is a formal process of communal decision-making, and how a population chooses a person or people to hold public office.
Since the 17th century, elections have been the primary method used to carry out representative democracy in modern times. Elections may be held to fill legislative, occasionally executive, occasionally judicial, and occasionally regional and municipal positions. Numerous other private and commercial organisations, including clubs, nonprofit organisations, and corporations, also use this procedure.
The practise in the democratic archetype, ancient Athens, where elections were regarded as an oligarchic institution and the majority of political positions were filled using sortition, also known as allotment, in which officeholders were chosen by lot, contrasts with the use of elections as a tool for choosing representatives in modern representative democracies.
After Nigeria’s independence in 1960, various electoral bodies were established throughout its history. The first electoral authority, the Electoral Commission of Nigeria (ECN), was set up in 1959 to supervise and manage the election that brought about post-independence democracy. Other electoral bodies have since been established with the duty and mandate to supervise, plan, and carry out the electioneering process, to conduct elections with core values of honesty, dedication, transparency, and impartiality guiding their operations with a view to maintaining Nigeria’s democracy.
This is a list of electoral bodies in Nigeria since Independence:
FEDERAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Mr. Eyo E. Esua presided over the Federal Electoral Commission. The commission organised and managed the 1964 and 1965 Federal and Western Regional Elections, respectively. The Federal Electoral Commission was abolished during the Coup d’etat in 1996 that resulted in the military taking control. Michael Ani wasn’t appointed to oversee the votes that would usher in the Nigerian Second Republic until 1976, after the election commission had established the General Olusegun Obasanjo military government. The Federal Electoral Commission, led by Michael Ani, planned, supervised, and oversaw the 1979 election that helped establish the Nigeria Second Republic.
In 1980, Shehu Shagari’s administration named Victor Ovie-Whiskey to be the chairman of the Federal Commission. He held the position until 1983, when Shehu Shagari was declared the winner of the presidential election once more.
NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF NIGERIA
Professor Eme Awa served as the first chairman of the Nigerian National Electoral Commission from 1987 to 1989. The 1987 Local Government Area elections were run by Prof. Eme Awa. In 1989, Professor Eme Awa gave up his leadership of the Nigerian National Electoral Commission. Humphery Nwosu was chosen by President Ibrahim Babaginda to lead the Nigerian National Electoral Commission after Professor Eme Awa resigned in 1989. The 1993 presidential election on June 12 was overseen by Humphery Nwosu, and it was widely regarded as being fair and free. In Nigerian elections, he introduced the Option A4 Voting System and the Open Ballot System.
However, the military administration instructed him to halt the declaration of the election’s results and winner, and he was subsequently fired. The Ibrahim Babaginda government declared the June 12, 1993 election invalid.
Okon Uya was chosen in June 1993 to preside over a proposed election that would take place in March 1994 after Humphery Nwosu was removed from his position as the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria’s chairman. The uncertainty that followed the annulment crisis prevented such, though. In November 1993, Okon Uya was fired as Chairman of the Commission after Sani Abacha became Head of State.
Sani Abacha, the military head of state, appointed Summer Dagogo-Jack in 1994. The March 1997 Local Government Elections were handled by Summer Dagogo-Jack, although the elected officials were not sworn in. The procedure was stopped when Sani Abacha passed very unexpectedly.
Abdulsalami Abubakar’s regime dissolved the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria, and hence initiated a fresh electoral process to cater for the Nigerian Fourth Republic.
INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The Independent National Electoral Commission, tasked with restoring democracy and the Nigerian Fourth Republic, was established as a result of the Abdulsalami Abubakar government. Ephraim Omorose Ibukun Apata was chosen by the administration of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubabakar to serve as the first head of the Independent National Electoral Commission. The Independent National Electoral Commission, which is led by Ephraim Apata, monitored and carried out the 1998 local government elections, the 1999 gubernatorial election, and the February 27, 1999, presidential election that installed Olusegun Obasanjo as the nation’s president.
Sir Abel Guobadia was chosen to serve as the Independent National Electoral Commission’s second chairman in May 2000. In 2005, he resigned as Chairman of the Commission.
Professor Attaihiru Muhammadu Jega was chosen to lead the Independent National Electoral Commission on June 8, 2010, by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He was the first INEC Chairman to oversee and effectively manage the general elections in 2011 and 2015. In June 2015, he left his position.
President Goodluck Jonathan chose Amina Bala Zakari to serve as Interim Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission from July 30 through November 9, 2015. On October 21, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Mahmood Yakubu to succeed her as the Chairman of the Commission. The 2019 General Elections were overseen and handled by him.
The Independent National Electoral Commission was headed by Professor Attaihiru Muhammadu Jega as of June 8, 2010, per President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He was the first INEC Chairman to successfully oversee and organise the general elections in 2011 and 2015. He left his position in June 2015.
To sum up, these many electoral authorities were often tasked with duties including registering political parties, registering eligible voters, regularly updating the Voters’ Register, political education, vetting candidates, and holding elections in a transparent and impartial manner.
Among other tasks allowed by the Constitution, their responsibilities also include the declaration of winners in election processes, the counting of votes, the announcement of results, the provision of ballot boxes and pertinent election materials, the registration of candidates, the supervision of voting activities, and the issuance and withdrawal of Certificates of Return. However, because to difficulties like political meddling, poor security, electioneering malpractices including vote-rigging, vote-buying, and underage voting as seen in previous elections, these electoral organisations did not completely accomplish the objectives that they wanted to achieve.