Acta Universitatis Danubius. Administratio, Vol 8, No 2 (2016)

Election Administration and Democratization Process in Nigeria: an Appraisal of 2007-2015

Lawrence Ime Edet


The study analyzed the impact of election administration and Nigeria’s democratization process using 2007-2015 general elections as the focal point. The study avers that elections in Nigeria during the period were characterized by various problems, resulting in questionable electoral outcomes. This was largely due to weak political institutions, mainly, the Independent National Election Commission (INEC). INEC lacks financial, institutional and administrative independence, as evidencedby its funding and composition by the presidency, as well as its lack of professional staff and security of tenure for its officials. This study, therefore, critically examines election administration in Nigeria within the periods and how such elections influenceddemocratization process in the Country. In achieving this objective, the study relied on content analysis and adopted abstraction from liberal democratic theory.Elections can only promote and institutionalize democratization in Nigeria if the electoral processes are reviewed in certain ways that fundamentally address the capacity and independence of INEC, to discharge its responsibilities effectively and efficiently. This study revealed that democratization through election administration depends largely on the institutional foundations of the electoral processes, especially, the INEC. A professional, impartial and independent INEC would provide better prospects of effective election administration in Nigeria. This study, however, recommends, among others, that electoral laws should be strengthened to encourage stiff punishment for electoral offenders as well as beneficiaries of fraudulent elections. The study conclude that the trend towards challenging electoral fraud in the courts and the judicial decisions, signal a strengthening of democratic principles and gives some hopes for democratization. 


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