VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND DIPLOMACY
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
Violet Andrew Saliu
THE EFFECT OF INTERNATIONAL ELECTORAL OBSERVATION ON
ELECTORAL INTEGRITY IN NIGERIA (1993-2015)
Diplomacy and International Relations, State Code 621L20004
Political Science Study Field
Supervisor prof. Algis krupavi?ius___________________
Defended prof. dr. Šar?nas Liekis_____________________
SALIU, V.A., The Effect of International Electoral Observation on Electoral Integrity in Nigeria
1993-2015: Final Thesis / Supervisor Prof. Dr. Krupavicius, A.; Vytautus Magnus University, Faculty
of Political Science and Diplomacy, Department of Political Science. Kaunas, 2018. p.64.
This master thesis concentrates on the effect of the international electoral observation on
electoral integrity in Nigeria. Accordingly, from the historical evolution of elections in Nigeria since
its independence from Britain in 1960. The electoral process in Nigeria has remained associated with
electoral violence, a factor which challenges the democratic consolidation of Nigeria. The
international electoral observation mission plays a significant role in Nigeria political development
since its first elections observation during the unprecedented democratic elections in 1999 after the
previous 1993 presidential elections were annulled by Military General Sani Abacha, shortly after
MKO Abiola was announced the winner of the 1993 presidential elections which was defined as the
utmost free and fair elections Nigeria has conducted ever. Accordingly, as a vital fragment of the
study, the thesis present electoral integrity as the suitable theoretical framework for the study of the
effect of international electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria. In addition, the thesis
study the various tasks carried out in the research; to examine the historical background and evolution
of elections process in Nigeria is examined to give a broader knowledge of the electoral process in
Nigeria; also, the electoral process in Nigeria across different election period from 1993 to the most
recent 2015 presidential elections is also studied carefully; as well as investigate to what extent, if
any, does the role of international electoral observation mission influence electoral integrity in Nigeria
electoral sphere with a look at the roles and actions of international observers; and lastly, a
comparative analysis of the significance of the 1993 presidential elections compared to the
presidential elections in 2015. Therefore, the analysis of this thesis depends on qualitative research
methods such as, the use of secondary sources, government publications and past research, as well as
the use of historical, comparative and content analysis, is established in this study to examine various
documents that clarify the effect of electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria. To sum up,
the thesis further explains the role of the independent national electoral commission on promoting
electoral integrity with the help of international electoral observation mission, as well as the
challenges derive from electoral violence as one the factors affecting electoral integrity in Nigeria
Keywords: Electoral integrity, International Electoral Observation, free and fair, Elections.
SALIU, V.A., Tarptautinio rinkim? steb?jimo proceso ?taka rinkim? vientisumui Nigerijoje 1993-
2015 m. Politikos moksl? magistro baigiamasis darbas / vadovas Prof. dr. A. Krupavi?ius; Vytauto
Didžiojo universitetas, Politikos moksl? ir diplomatijos fakultetas, Politikos moksl? katedra. Kaunas,
Šiame magistro baigiamajame darbe siekiama išsiaiškinti, koki? ?tak? Nigerijoje vykusi?
rinkim? vientisumui tur?jo tarptautinis rinkim? steb?jimo procesas. Tuo tikslu, analizuojama istorin?
Nigerijos rinkim? raida nuo to laiko, kai 1960 m. Nigerija atgavo nepriklausomyb? iš Didžiosios
Britanijos. Rinkim? procesas Nigerijoje buvo siejamas su rinkiminiu smurtu, kuris apsunkina
demokratin? Nigerijos konsolidavimo proces?. Tarptautin? rinkim? steb?jimo misija vaidina svarb?
vaidmen? politiniame Nigerijos vystymosi procese nuo pirmojo rinkim? steb?jimo per precedento
neturin?ius demokratinius rinkimus 1999 m. po to, kai 1993 m. Nigerijos karo generolas Sanis Aba?a
(Sani Abacha) anuliavo 1993 m. prezidento rinkim? rezultatus, ir, netrukus po to, MKO Abiola buvo
paskelbtas 1993 m. valstyb?s vadovo rinkim? nugal?toju. 1999 m. vyk? rinkimai buvo ?vardinti kaip
laisviausi ir s?žiningiausi rinkimai visoje Nigerijos rinkim? istorijoje. Taigi, baigiamajame darbe
rinkim? vientisumas, kaip pagrindinis šio tyrimo objektas, yra laikomas tinkamu teoriniu pagrindu,
kuriuo remiantis buvo gilinamasi ir nagrin?jama, koki? ?tak? Nigerijoje vykusi? rinkim? vientisumui
tur?jo tarptautinis rinkim? steb?jimo procesas. Be to, šiame darbe nagrin?jami ?vair?s, tyrimo metu
suformuluoti uždaviniai; tam, kad min?tos šalies rinkim? procesas b?t? geriau suprastas, gilinamasi
? istorinius faktus ir rinkim? proceso raid? Nigerijoje; taip pat rinkim? procesas išsamiai išnagrin?tas
skirtingais rinkim? laikotarpiais nuo 1993 m. iki pastar?j? 2015 m. prezidento rinkim?; aiškinamasi,
kokia apimtimi, jei apskritai tokia yra, tarptautin?s rinkim? steb?jimo misijos vaidmuo lemia rinkim?
proceso vientisum? Nigerijoje vykstan?iuose rinkimuose, atkreipiant d?mes? ? tarptautini? steb?toj?
vaidmenis ir j? atliekamus veiksmus; ir, galiausiai, buvo atlikta lyginamoji analiz?, kurios metu 1993
m. prezidento rinkim? svarba buvo lyginama su rinkimais, vykusiais 2015 m. Atsižvelgiant ? min?tus
uždavinius, buvo naudojami kokybiniai tyrim? metodai, tokie kaip, antrini? šaltini? naudojimas,
vyriausyb?s leidiniai bei anks?iau atlikti tyrimai, taip pat atlikta istorin?, lyginamoji ir turinio
analiz?s, kurios naudojamos analizuojant ?vairius dokumentus, atskleidžian?ius rinkim? steb?jimo
?tak? rinkim? vientisumui. Apibendrinant reik?t? pasteb?ti, kad magistro baigiamajame darbe taip pat
yra gilinamasi, koks vaidmuo tenka nepriklausomai nacionalinei rinkim? komisijai, padedamai
tarptautin?s rinkim? steb?jimo misijos, skatinant rinkim? vientisum? bei aptariami išš?kiai,
atsirandantys d?l rinkiminio smurto, kaip vieno iš veiksni?, daran?i? ?tak? rinkim? vientisumui
politiniame Nigerijos vystymosi procese.
Reikšminiai žodžiai: rinkim? vientisumas, tarptautinis rinkim? steb?jimo procesas, laisvas ir
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS ………………………………………………………………………………………………………5
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ………………………………………………………………………………………………..7
LIST OF GLOSSARIES………………………………………………………………………………………………………..9
LIST OF TABLES, MAPS AND FIGURES …………………………………………………………………………..11
1. THEORETICAL APPROACH………………………………………………………………17
1.1 The Concept of Electoral Integrity………………………………………………………………………………17
1.2 The framework of Electoral Integrity Analysis……………………………………………….18
1.3 Electoral Observation: The Theoretical Basis…………………………………….………….20
2. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND EVOLUTION OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN
2.1 Democratic Consolidation from the Prism of Democratic Peace Theory……………………26
2.2 Presidential Elections in Nigeria Since the Period of 1993-2015…………………………….27
2.3 General Electoral Processes in Nigeria from the Prism of Electoral Integrity 2015 elections in
2.4 Electoral Violence as a Factor Affecting Electoral Integrity in Nigeria…………………….35
3. THE ROLE OF INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISION IN PROMOTING
ELECTORAL INTEGRITY IN NIGERIA………………………………………………….39
3.1 Elections Administration, Electoral Commissions and the problem of Autonomy………….40
3.2 INEC and the Challenges of Free and Fair Elections………….…………………………….43
4. THE EFFECT OF INTERNATIONAL ELECTORAL OBSERVATION ON NIGERIAN
4.1 The Roles and Actions of International Electoral Observation in Nigeria Elections in 2015.45
4.2 An Analysis of the 1993 and 2015 Presidential Elections………………….……………….48
4.3 International Electoral Observers Observations on the Outcome of the 2015 Presidential
LIST OF LITERATURE AND SOURCES…………………………………………………………56
ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
AC – Alliance Congress
ACE – ACE: Electoral Knowledge Network
ANPP –All Nigeria Peoples Party
APC –All Peoples Congress
AU – African Union
CD – Campaign for Democracy
CLO – Civil Liberty Organization
CSO – Civil Society Organization
ECOWAS – Economic Community for the West African States
EU EOM – European Union Election Observers Mission
FON – Freedom Organization of Nigeria
HRW – Human Rights Watch
ICG – International Crisis Group
IFES – The International Foundation for Election Systems
IIDEA – International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance
INEC – Independent National Electoral Commission
IRI – International Republican Institute
JSPS – Justice Development of Peace Committee
NDI – National Democratic Institute
NLC – Nigeria Labor Congress
ODIHR – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
OSCE – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
PDP – People Democratic Party
PPA – Progressive People Alliance
PPP – Peoples Progressive Party
RPN – Republic Party of Nigeria
TCC – The Carter Center
TMG – Transition Monitoring Group
UDP – United Democratic Party
UN – United Nations
UNDP – United Nations Development Program
UNOPS – United Nations Office for Project Services
UNPP – United Nigeria’s Party
LIST OF GLOSSARIES
Campaign (electoral): the political activity, which includes speeches, rallies, meetings,
parades, debates as well as other media designed events to inform the electorate of a candidate1.
Electoral violence: is intimidation, bodily injury, extortion or exploitation of a political
participant in trying to affect an electoral procedure.
Candidate: a person independent of any party’s or political party representative nominated
to compete in an election2.
The electoral administration:is the required procedures necessary for conducting elections.
Electoral management body: is the body that conducts elections3.
Electoral observation: A procedure that observers are assigned to assess election and report
the outcome of the election while taking the legal standard into considerations4.
Electoral process: The stages involved in the preparation and carrying out elections.
Electoral register: The list of persons registered as qualified to vote5.
Independent model of electoral management: is an institutionally independent EMB
where elections are managed and prepared autonomous from the executive branch of government6.
Legal framework: defining or influencing an electoral process, the collection of legal
structural elements, the major elements being constitutional provisions, codes of conduct, such as
political party laws and laws structuring legislative bodies7.
Definition of Terms and Concepts
Role: This is the function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a situation8.
1 ACE: Electoral Knowledge Network. Electoral management.
(http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/em/ema/ema02) Last accessed 25/04/2018. 2 International IDEA, Electoral Management Design (https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/electoral-management-
design) last accessed 03/05/2018. 3 Independent Electoral Commission, (INEC). (http://www.inecnigeria.org/?page_id=28) Last accessed 02/04/2018. 4 ACE: Electoral Knowledge Network, Electoral Management.
(http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/em/ema/ema02) 03/05/2018. 5 International IDEA, Electoral Management Design (https://www.idea.int/data-tools/data/electoral-management-
design) last accessed 03/05/2018. 6 ACE: Electoral Knowledge Network, Electoral Management. (http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/em/ema/ema02)
Last accessed 03/05/2018. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid.
Free and Fair Elections: are held at systematic intermissions founded on general,
equivalent and undisclosed suffrage9.
General Elections: means nation-wide elections to choose leaders and representatives at
national such as the Presidential Elections10.
9 ACE: Electoral Knowledge Network, Electoral Management. (http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/em/ema/ema02)
Last accessed 03/05/2018.
10 Gross archive, Elections and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria, a Study Of 2007 And 2011 General Elections in
North-West Geo-Political Zone. (https://www.grossarchive.com/project/3915/-ELECTIONS-AND-DEMOCRATIC-
ZONE.html) Last accessed 02/04/2018
LIST OF TABLES, MAPS, AND FIGURES
List of Maps
Map No1: Map of Nigeria Showing six geopolitical zones……………………………………………….63
List of Figures
Figure No1: The Electoral Circle………………………………………………………………………………64
Figure No2: Types of Electoral allege reported fraud………………………………………………………………..65
Nowadays, in most nations around the world, the elections have developed into the deep-
seated part of the democratic process by which the people to unreservedly picks who rule them and
make choices that shape their economic and political predetermination. The effect of the international
electoral observation mission is a contemporary discourse in political development studies, and the
act of election observation, is recent in political affairs. The framework of this thesis is set against
“the effect of the international electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria from the period
of 1993 to 2015”. Conversely, for decades, Nigeria as a nation has battled with the issue of
establishing a successful free and fair election, which is a matter of concern for political development.
However, the Nigeria political process has experienced several dilemmas which stem from lack of
development. Furthermore, elections are perceived to be consistent attributes in democracies
worldwide. However, the Nigerian political landscaped is flawed by electoral violence, an issue which
is often influenced by the unacceptability of the election outcome by the losing candidates and
members of the political party who resolves to violence to express their dissatisfaction regarding the
electoral outcome. Therefore, in every democratic country, elections play a considerable role, thus, a
systematic election at certain period is necessary, in every democratic society. This thesis seeks to
examine Nigeria’s journey towards electoral integrity since 1993 concluding in the recent presidential
elections in 2015. The selected timeline is significant because of Nigeria’s role in Africa and the
concern of international community in the nation. The focal reason amongst others for the collapse
of previous democratic attempts in Nigeria dates to violence that suffused in the electoral spin. To
have a clearer understanding of the electoral processes and the position of democracy in Nigeria. An
examination of presidential elections in Nigeria since its independence discloses electoral violence as
a recurrent factor undermining democratic consolidation in Nigeria’s electoral process.
Background to the research: Universally, democracy is recognized as the most applied,
system of leadership. however, the marginally comprehended arrangement of administration is known
to human understanding. The fall out of dictator rule in Eastern Europe, the end of cold war and an
upsurge in numerous parts of the world appear to have opened the conduits for a new meaning of
democratic structure. The effect of international electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria
is a plausible impact to the political development of the nation and its democratization process as with
the presence of the observation mission, the prospect of free and fair elections in11 Nigeria depends
how the election is conducted. Depending on a qualitative method using data collected from
11 International Crisis Group. (https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/democratic-republic-congo/259-
electoral-poker-dr-congo) last accessed 03/05/2018.
secondary sources as well as historical analysis by considering the historical background and
evolution of elections in Nigeria from 1993 to 2015, to show the reoccurring effect of electoral
violence as a factor which undermines democratic consolidation in Nigeria. Therefore, elections in
Nigeria has not been able to present a leadership change that will implement responsibility in
leadership. It is also imperative to abduct a comparative analysis to efficiently analyze and compares
the 1993 and 2015 general elections in Nigeria as both elections are therefore a significant electoral
turning point in Nigeria history. This thesis is limited to elections process during the period of 1993
to 2015, in other to determine the effect of foreign electoral observation on electoral integrity in
Nigeria within this timeline.
Research problem: is that the single winner method of politics in Nigeria often results in
electoral violence and other political issues, which in turn threatens free and fair presidential elections
and hinders electoral integrity in Nigeria.
Research object: is the effect of international electoral Observation on electoral integrity in
Research goal: The study is carried out to assess the effect of international electoral
observation on integrity within the Nigerian context and examine to what extent international
electoral observation missions have helped in curbing electoral malpractices and the promotion of
electoral integrity in the nation.
1. To introduce the concept of electoral integrity as the suitable theoretical basis for the
2. To study the historical background and evolution of democratic elections in Nigeria;
3. To investigate to what extent, if any, does the role of independent national electoral
commission influence electoral integrity in Nigeria elections;
4. To analyze the significance of the 1993 presidential elections compared to the
presidential elections in 2015.
Research questions: From a historical viewpoint, how has Nigeria managed in the conduct
of elections, has presidential elections been free and fair since the interference of the international
electoral observation mission in Nigeria elections process, or have they been defective by violence?
Novelty and relevance of the topic: the research topic reveals that until date, there are
limited academic studies to address issues concerning electoral violence as a problem in performing
free and fair elections in Nigeria which undermines electoral integrity. Given the expanding
importance of elections in Nigeria. Such research is needed to study the effect, outcomes and
challenges of conducting free and fair elections in Nigeria, unrestricted by electoral violence.
However, researches such as this is yet to be recognized in scientific study. This research thesis titled
“The effect of the international electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria (1993-2015)”
draws its novelty from its specificity of scope in dealing with Electoral Integrity in Nigeria and the
role of international electoral observation mission in promoting credible, free and fair election process
during elections in the nation. Previous scientific researches on the topic were focused only on the
general elections perspective and limited periods of elections in Nigeria. Thus, this thesis is
specifically made around the time frame of 1993-2015 presidential elections, with insights into
different presidential elections and turning point of democratic elections in Nigeria. This research is
relevant because Nigeria resides in a position of refinement in the world, particularly amongst other
democratic states. The research is an educative study in political science which requires systematic
investigation and documentation of issues that advance or damage democratic process in Nigeria.
therefore, the research investigates the requirement for Nigeria to consider the importance of
elections, as without tranquil change to the democratic rule, Nigeria cannot progress. This makes the
thesis timely and exceptionally pertinent.
Scope and limitation of research: This research explores its topic inside the limits of Nigeria’s
biased discretionary ground with reference elections during 1993 to 2015. Within this context and
timeframe, the research concentrates on the influence which international election observation have
on electoral integrity to the degree that Nigeria has led a fair and peaceful elections. To sensibly show the
fair condition which has a contemporary importance, the postulation research the time said, but adds
comparative flavor by examining electoral integrity more closely on the 1993 and 2015 elections. The
constraints of this research are regarding access to limited books and other research material.
Thesis statement: Since the independence of Nigeria, the country’s political development
has been associated with electoral violence, which dates to the 1990’s. Such electoral violence
undermines the electoral integrity and the effect of international electoral observation in conducting
free and fair elections in Nigeria.
Research methods: The analysis of this thesis depends on qualitative research methods such
as, the use of secondary source of data collection is adopted in this thesis, such as relevant journals,
newspapers, books, government publications, official archives, past research and reports on electoral
integrity and international electoral observation etc. which will investigate the effect of international
electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria. Content analysis as a technique is established
in this study to examine various documents that elucidate the effect of electoral integrity on Nigeria
elections. The historical, descriptive, and comparative method is used in the thesis to analyze
historical events and compare the signature of the 1993 and 2015 presidential elections in Nigeria.
Furthermore, the effect of international electoral observation on electoral integrity in Nigeria from
the time frame of 1993 to 2015 is examined. Which includes examining meaning into gathered
materials for accomplishing dependable conclusion.
Literature review: This research illustrates a deliberate review of literature hooked on
democratic elections with electoral integrity and expert accuracy has been guaranteed by an
autonomous and neutral election observation. this appraisal was taken to give the thesis a conceptual
and theoretical framework, reasonable and hypothetical structure. articles from database such as
documents, past research paper, Journals, official government institution reports, press release and
resources collected from publications such as the European Union Election Observation Mission,
Electoral Integrity Project, international IDEA, the Carter Center, Human Rights Watch, International
Crisis Group, ACE: The Electoral Knowledge Network, INEC official website, Nigeria, and other
countries websites. The use of the above-mentioned sources and more, assist to study, investigate and
analyze the subject matter of the thesis from vast perspectives.
Thesis structure: The first chapter of this thesis summarizes the background to the study
with other foundational sub-topics such as research question, object, research methods, goal, and
tasks. It also points out the novelty and relevance of the topic while stating the research problem, its
source base, scope, and limitation, etc. The first chapter examines electoral integrity as the suitable
theoretical method to the study, which is divided into two subsections. Using the insights from
relevant literature, chapter two of the thesis examines the historical background and evolution of
elections in Nigeria as against the backdrop of democratic transition from the prism of democratic
peace theory. There is also an important overview of general electoral processes in Nigeria. In this
chapter, the general elections held between the period of 1993-2015 are considered, while looking at
electoral violence as a factor affecting electoral integrity in Nigeria. Chapter three examines the role
of INEC in the promotion of electoral integrity in Nigeria. This chapter deals with election
administration in Nigeria and points out how the issue of autonomy affects electoral commissions and
the impacts of electoral integrity. The chapter deliberates on INEC and its challenges of leading free
and fair elections in Nigeria. Chapter four is titled “The Effect of International electoral observation
in Nigerian Elections”. It starts with a description of the roles and actions of international observation
and concludes with remarks on the outcome of the 2015 elections, analysis of the 1993 and 2015
elections. A study on electoral integrity within the Nigerian context is incomplete without a discussion
on INEC and the 2015 elections in perspective. This chapter ends the thesis with the conclusion.
1.0 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
This section highlights the relevant theoretical framework appropriate to the paper such as
the concept of electoral integrity. The section will explain the suitability electoral integrity to the
research. In this section, different scholar’s assumptions on the ideas of democracy and credible
elections would be discussed, mainly, on electoral integrity. Attempts will also be made to justify
why this theory is appropriate and relevant to the research.
1.1. The Concept of Electoral Integrity
Pippa Norris describe the significance of electoral integrity in democratic administration. To
define electoral integrity. However, generally it is assumed that unsuccessful or defective failed,
elections undermine poise in voted powers that be, impair elective attendance, worsen fight, generate
protests, as well as seldom lead to a radical change in regime12. However, the comparable concept is
consisting of negative phrases like ‘flawed elections’ ‘electoral malpractice’ ‘electoral fraud’ and
optimistic footings, where votes remain ‘sincere’ ‘dependable’ ‘flawed elections’ ‘satisfactory’ which
mirrors the ‘drive of the populace’ or the principal diplomatic expression of ‘free and fair’13. From
another point of view, ‘sound conducted elections’ that could be pronounced as ‘dependable’
‘satisfactory’ ‘sincere’ or the average expression of ‘free and fair’ are considered as elections by
means of integrity14. In this study of the effect of international electoral observation on electoral
integrity in Nigeria15, the concept of electoral integrity is proposed as the ground for examining issues
that affect free and fair elections as well as integrity in Nigeria, such as electoral violence and electoral
malpractices etc. also, electoral integrity is explained from the global obligations, recognized in
several conventions based on values which applies to every nation globally used the electoral cycle,
as well as before the elections, campaign, elections day and after the elections day.
Nevertheless, government and officers are absent to public, assurance, feeble concerning the
outcomes, this leader’s lack the essential validity without electoral integrity. open dialogue, debate,
the peaceful resolve of conflict and information sharing amongst leaders and the public is possible
12 See for more information on: Why Electoral Integrity Matters: Pippa Norris New York: Cambridge University Press,
2014 Paperback. (www.electoralintegrityproject.com) 13 Jorgen, Elklit and Palle, Svensson. what makes elections free and fair. Journal of Democracy 8 (3): 1997, 32?46. Op. cit.
Pippa Norris, Why Malpractices Generate Pressures for Electoral Reform: An Agenda?Setting Model, 2012. P.3.
(https://www.princeton.edu/csdp/events/Norris11292012/Norris11292012.pdf) Last accessed 01/02/2018. 14 Electoral Integrity Project. Electoral systems and electoral misconduct. Comparative Political Studies, 40 (12), 2012.
1533-1556. (https://sites.google.com/site/electoralintegrityproject4/about-this-project) Last accessed 01/02/2018.
15 Paul Ejime, Africa: Electoral Integrity in Africa – Lessons from Nigeria, 2017.
(http://allafrica.com/stories/201704080017.html) Last accessed 06/05/2018.
with electoral integrity. Correspondingly, the public assurance in electoral methods will determine
1.2 Framework of Electoral Integrity Analysis
In 2012 Professor Pippa Norris introduced the framework of electoral as part of the (Electoral
Integrity Project) with the focal goal of nursing the frequency of electoral integrity and spreading it
in every part of the world, endorse its study, study the measures to decrease its occurrence around the
world. The EIP has associations with other international organizations like the International IDEA,
Democratic Governance and Innovation, the Committee of Australian Studies, and Weather Head
Center for International Affairs16. A huge sum of prevailing works on the topic of electoral integrity
originated from the research group. “In sight of the on-going discourse about measuring the credibility
of elections, the EIP aims to proffer a compelling framework to guide the evaluation of elections.
However, it is created by the international standards perception which contends that electoral integrity
or electoral fraud can best be determined by examining the international conventions and standards
on elections and democracy”17.
In points of interest, the breakdown underneath clears up the phases of the discretionary
hover as connected by the constituent uprightness venture, the rundown of 49 survey items
appropriately all periods of the appointive cycle were secured. The items are along these lines
composed into eleven sorts which constitute key phases of appointive process: the pre-decision, race
day and the post-race stages18. The pre-election day, the accompanying five criteria are
contemplated: Electoral laws: it was inclined toward lesser parties; regardless of whether constituent
laws supported the fundamental party; and also, did race laws limited subject’s rights;19 Electoral
measures: the races were all around oversaw; were data about voting process was broadly accessible;
the race authorities were reasonable; and in addition whether the races were directed as per the law ;
Boundaries: to know the limits are not prejudicial; did limits just support officeholders; and in
addition whether limits were fair-minded20; Voter registration: the enlist was off base; a few people
were not recorded in the enroll; and ineligible voters were enlisted ; Party registration: some
potential restriction applicants were denied from challenging; ethnic and national minorities had level
16 Weather head Center for International Affairs, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies,
international-and-area-studies-1022). Last accessed 03/05/2018. 17 Ibid. 18 Perception of Electoral Integrity Questionnaire. (https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/pei-core-survey-items/)
Last accessed 03/05/2018. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid.
with chances to challenge for office; the enlist was incorrect; whether a couple of gathering pioneers
assigned contenders; and in addition, a few parties21.
The second stage fathoms the battle period of the constituent time frame under the resulting
subordinates22: Campaign media: daily papers gave adjusted decision news; columnists gave
reasonable scope of the races; parties/competitors had reasonable access to political communicates
and promoting; the enlist was erroneous23; online networking were utilized to uncover appointive
misrepresentation; Campaign finance: parties/hopefuls had fair access to political gifts; the
gatherings/applicants had impartial access to open sponsorships ; rich individuals purchase races;
regardless of whether some state assets were disgracefully utilized for campaigning and
gatherings/applicants distribute straightforward money related records24. Besides, the third stage
protects the election day, and spotlights on the voting procedure. The accompanying inquiries are
gotten some information about Election day: voters were debilitated with viciousness at the surveys;
the way toward voting was simple; the forces that be permitted open examination of their execution;
voters were displayed an earnest decision at the survey box; particular voting comforts were open for
the handicapped; national residents who lives abroad could vote; postal votes were accessible; and in
addition some type of Internet voting was available25 .
This area clarifies the post-race phase of the electoral cycle is having the consequent
subordinates whereupon were addressed: Vote count: secured tallying stations; the outcomes were
declared immediately; the worldwide; the household race screens were confined; race screens were
limited; the votes were tallied reasonably; Post-election: competitors/parties stood up to the results;
the decision prompted quiet challenges; the race caused fierce dissents; any conflicts were unfaltering
through lawful channels; Electoral authority: the race specialists were unbiased; the race experts
performed well; the specialists circulated data to subjects; the experts permitted open investigation of
their execution26 . The given perception of electoral integrity questionnaire is suitable to analyze the
integrity of an election. Therefore, it satisfactorily shelters the stages of the electoral cycle. Thus,
21 Norris P, Frank R, ; Martínez I Coma F, Measuring Electoral Integrity around the World: A New Dataset. PS: Political
Science and Politics, 47(4), 2014, 789-798. Retrieved from (http://www.jstor.org/stable/43284648) Last accessed
23.04.2018. 22 The Perception of Electoral Integrity Questionnaire. (https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/pei-core-survey-
items/) Last accessed 03/05/2018. 23 Pippa Norris, Richard W. Frank, Ferran Martínez I Coma, Assessing the Quality of Elections, Journal of Democracy, Vol.
24, No. 4, October 2013. (https://muse.jhu.edu/article/523091/pdf) Last accessed 05/05/2018. 24 The Perception of Electoral Integrity Questionnaire. (https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/pei-core-survey-
items/) Last accessed 03/05/2018. 25 Ibid. 26 Perception of Electoral Integrity Questionnaire. (https://www.electoralintegrityproject.com/pei-core-survey-items/)
Last accessed 03/05/2018.
during election observation missions, the electoral observers often use these measurements. However,
some of the measures might not smear to the Nigerian electoral circumstances, for instance, the
boundaries did not seem fundamental to the 2015 general elections particularly after the argument it
produced ensuing endeavors by INEC to make extra ballot units. However, it influences the utilization
of the most applicable ones to identify with the Nigerian election method as well as the problem of
internet voting. Furthermore, there are other less considered parts of voting procedure in the Nigerian
1.3. Election Observation and the Theoretical basis
In this section, the thesis will explain election observation and highlight relevant theories
that are appropriate to the study.
Election Observation: According to Bard-Andreassen et al, “Election observing is a form
of action-oriented and participatory research, which is currently of great importance in Third World
nations in transitioning process from a single party dictatorship to multiparty democracy”27. The focal
purpose of election observation is to objectively gather evidence of the electoral procedure to evaluate
whether the process was democratic. In most countries where shots were taken to establish a
democratic political system, domestic observation organizations perform electoral observation. The
local observing organization’s activities complement those of their international counterparts. For
instance, in Nigeria, several election observation groups worked with their international colleagues
during the 2003 general elections. The election observation groups comprise of the Freedom
Organization of Nigeria (FON), Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Civil Society Organization
(CSO), Justice Development of Peace Committee (JSPS) and the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) and
the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO) etc. Consistently, many of these domestic election observers
are well trained and financially supported by donors in European nations and North America28. In
detail, during election observations at the requested country, the concluding reports of such
observations relate to whether the basic important features of a free and fair elections is taken into
consideration. They simply do not offer a reasonable representation of democracy however, they end
up giving the right perspective of whether the will of the citizens was regarded or not29.
27 Sanusi Olatunde, The Role of the International Observer in Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria: A Case of 2015
General Elections. (http://www.eajournals.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Role-of-the-International-Observer-in-
Consolidation-of-Democracy-in-Nigeria.pdf) Last accessed 03/05/2018. 28 Ibid. 29 For more information see: Political History of Nigeria. Available at
(http://www.crawfordsworld.com/rob/apcg/Nigeria/Unit4NigeriaHistory.html) Last accessed. 16/03/2018.
Stack noted that, election observing is the critical role of contesting and confirming election
results, and by determining “free and fair” meeting certain electoral criteria. For instance, there should
be absence of electoral fraud; assembly and free association; freedom of press must accompany the
election and relative peace also30. he further explained that, to establish an atmosphere of confidence
in the electoral process. election observation can be considered into subsequent types: The first is
linked to the process of decolonization. In recently independent states, the aid of foreign body is
established to monitor elections. similarly, prior to the inception of OAU, in the 1950s and 1960s,
following United Nations supported referenda, several African countries gained independence31.
Even after the defunct OAU formation, the practice continued 32. Undeniably, Nigeria’s general
elections which ushered in the first republic were duly observed, as were also the general elections
that marked the second republic. The second is on election observing, which is the norm in the
advanced democracies of the world, is when a state-appointed electoral commission officially
monitors elections. In this situation, the monitoring exercise can be limited to nothing more than
monitoring the actual vote count on the election day. The third explain that election observation
occurs when elections are monitored in the cycle by international and local non-governmental
organizations. Several African countries are familiar with the type of election observing. Stack noted
that this type of election monitoring only takes place in societies that are reformed or revolutionizing
themselves out of the non-democratic political system33.
In Africa for instance, political possibility turned into the standard course for every one of
the countries propelled by getting included gives and credits from the Bretton Woods association and
western sponsors. Ake speculated that “most autocratic and corrupt regimes in Africa tended to be
the most willing cold war allies for the simple reason that they needed external make up for their lack
of home-based legitimacy support”34. As against this establishment, it isn’t generally surprising that
tyrant countries, for example, Kenya, Sudan, Zaire, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Liberia got the greater
offer of United States support to Africa in 1962 and 1988. However, the 1990’s were portrayed by a
huge change in the way the West associated with Africa. At the same time, Yugoslavia ended up
independent sovereign states, as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of Cold War.
According to Ake; the outcome of this historic event is termed the “capitalist” revolution in Eastern
30 Stack Louise, February/March 1993. Op. cit. Sanusi Olatunde, The Role of the International Observer in Consolidation
of Democracy in Nigeria: A Case of 2015 General Elections. (http://www.eajournals.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Role-
of-the-International-Observer-in-Consolidation-of-Democracy-in-Nigeria.pdf) Last accessed 03/05/2018. 31 Sanusi Olatunde, The Role of the International Observer in Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria: A Case Of 2015
General Elections, available at (http://Www.Eajournals.Org/Wp-Content/Uploads/The-Role-Of-The-International-
Observer-In-Consolidation-Of-Democracy-In-Nigeria.Pdf) Last Accessed 09/04/2018. 32 Garder Larry, International Organizations and Democracy, Journal of Democracy 4, 3, July,1993, p.2416. 33 Stack Louise, The Role of Electoral monitoring, DIESUID-AFRIKAAN, February/March 1993. 34 Ake Claude, The Feasibility of Democracy in Africa, Dakar: CODESRIA, 2000, P.137.
Europe35. However, “As prior revealed, election observation and monitoring have progressively
turned into a critical strategy for outer contribution in the just procedures in African states and
Nigerian specifically”36. Increased expanding universal worthiness and acknowledgment in view of
their parts in advancing human rights in nations experiencing democratic transitions. The western
government and multilateral institutions in the 1980’s was increasingly persuasive and outspoken in
their preference of electoral multiparty democracy as an added loan prerequisite37. However, given
the predominant state of mind in the west and the adjustments in the worldwide political condition,
the United Nations was to acknowledge the possibility that the acknowledgment and free exercise of
majority rule rights, the privilege to vote in free and fair elections, is vital for the acceptance the
general population will as the purpose of administration.
Theory of Democratic Consolidation: Is the recognizable transition from authoritarian rule
to civil rule through democratic systems extension that are fundamental to the enthronement and
establishment of an institutional, enduring and stable democracy38. Arriving at a consolidated
democracy require cultivation democratic principle, ethics, values, and institutions that averts another
authoritarian administration 39. This was about the period of democratic survival and the successful
transfer of power. Thus, democratic consolidation tenet cannot be overlooked by Nigeria, as the
verdict of the poll must be accepted by the supporters and actors40. In addition, it is pertinent to
examine the Nigeria democratic transition from years of military rule from the context of democratic
consolidation for a clarified understanding. In 1966, Barely six years after Nigeria obtained its
independence from the Britain in 1960, the country experience long years of military rule from 1966.
However, in 1999, there was a turning point in Nigeria political structure, with its democratic
transition from the brutal years of military rule when it conducted her first successful democratic
elections in 1999, saw the presence of international electoral observation mission for the first time,
this step, shaped democratic consolidation in Nigeria towards conducting its elections in line with the
universal standard of electoral observation mission to ensure electoral integrity in Nigeria electoral
35 (Ibid, 138). 36 Abutudu M, Monitoring and Observation of Elections in Africa, Pretoria, available at
(https://www.elections.org.za/content/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=1944) Last accessed 10/04/2018. 37 Hoogvelt Anike, Globalization and the Post-Colonial World: The New Political Economy of Development, Hampshire
and London, Macmillan Press Limited, 1997, p.173. 16. (http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/viewFile/5936/5721)
last accessed 26/03/2018. 38 Kwasau M, The Challenges of Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. European Scientific Journal,
Vol.9, No.9. 2013. 39 Diamond Larry, Rethinking Civil Society, Towards Democratic Consolidation. Journal of Democracy, Vol.8, 1994, p.7. 40 Ibid.
The Representative Theory: In a contemporary democracy, the principle of representation
is very grave. as modern-day states; “involve large demographic and population sizes,
multiculturalism, multiplicity and complexity of interests, maturity and age-related conditions for
active participation”41. David Held maintains that “democratic theory is in a state of flux. There are
almost as many differences among thinkers within each of the major strands of political analysis, as
there are, traditions themselves”42. In a democratic system, the people’s pledge is vital. Especially,
when the people are devoted to the approximations of democratic system of government. the people
are aware of their municipal obligations they become engaged with political exercises which in turn
makes a contemporary democratic framework fruitful.
From another point of view, as opposed to the representative theory, in the Nigeria political
tenets, the appointed leaders do not represent the populace as they should under the universal principle
of representative theory compared to other nations like the united states where the congress represents
the interest of the people, however, this is not the case with Nigeria’s democratic representation. As
they only represent their own interest and pockets. Furthermore, the elected representative
government in Nigeria do not show any sense of responsibility and accountability to the people or
work towards providing the basic needs to enrich the society. The influence of international electoral
observation in Nigeria, ensures that right leaders are elected based on free and fair election that
promotes electoral integrity, and free from electoral malpractices and fraud. This chapter presented
electoral integrity as the relevant theory to study the electoral integrity in Nigeria elections and how
this theory is applied in a democratic system in ensuring credible election which promotes electoral
integrity. In the next chapter, we will study the historical background and evolution of democratic
elections and the struggle for democratic consolidation in Nigeria from a historical context.
41 Chidam’modzi H. F. (2003). The Problems of Representation: Dilemmas of African Democracy in Nigeria. P.367-380. 42 Held David, Democracy: From City-States to a Cosmopolitan Order in David Held (Ed) Prospects for Democracy: North,
South, East, West, Polity Press, 2006, pp.12-15
2.0 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND EVOLUTION OF
DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA
This chapter is supplementarily divided into four sub-chapters which explain the historical
background and evolution of Nigeria democratic elections as well as examine Nigeria democratic
consolidation from the prism of democratic peace theory as a theoretical technique for explaining the
democratic transition from a military regime to a democratic system in Nigeria. The theory is vital to
the study objective as it will clarify some portion of the challenges confronting electoral
establishments in accomplishing electoral integrity in Nigeria electoral process. Bratton and Walle
(1997), specified that “the recognized characteristic of the Nigerian political system is that of neo-
patrimonialism which is a system based on the state monopoly of power and resources”43.
Unfortunately, elections in Nigeria are, regularly observed as a process for improving limited political
advantaged to the damage of the majority. In other to have a broad understanding of the political
process in Nigeria since its independence, this section attempts to briefly examine the historical
periods of presidential elections in Nigeria that has been carried out on a nationwide order between
the period of 1993 to 2015. It likewise brings up the relevant factor of electoral violence as a lingering
issue in the pivot of electoral growth in Nigeria.
Gwinn and Norton, defined election as the formal process of registering a political
proposition by voting and public office selection a person. They added that an election is one of the
ways in which a society may organize itself and make specified formal decisions44. Additionally,
when there is free access to vote around the world, it reflects as a means for making the right choice
about to power relations in any civilization to reach for political submission because of this people
need to sacrifice their freedom choose whomever they wish to vote for in democratic elections.
Therefore, this chapter of the thesis, the deep historical background of elections in Nigeria since its
independence and the evolution of democratic elections during this period will be analyzed
The historical background of elections in Nigeria dates to 1959 in the first republic of
Nigeria. Though, the 1959 elections were meant to fix the parties that was meant to govern after the
colonial period. In any case, the major parties ended up winning the most seats in their regions, but
none of them appeared powerful enough to launch a national government45. An alliance government
43 Bratton M, and Walle N, Neopatrimonialism Regimes & Political Transition in Africa, 1997.
(http://www.la.utexas.edu/users/chenry/core/Course%20Materials/BrattonAfrWP94/0.pdf) last accessed.
02/05/2018. 44 Gwinn, R. and Norton, P. (1992). The New Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago University of Chicago Press. 45 Helen Chapin Metz, ed. Nigeria: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991.
http://countrystudies.us/nigeria/68.htm Last accessed 24/04/2018.
was designed by the NPC and NCNC, though, NCNC was expressively favored by the passing
colonial leader. Nonetheless, the alliance provided a degree of north-south accord that would not have
existed if the NCNC and AG had formed a coalition46. The 1964 general elections, was the first to be
led only by Nigerians. The elections took place during second the republic. however, amid this period
the nation’s government had already detached into an opposition between two limiting alliances. On
one hand was the coalition of the Nigerian National Alliance which was (NPC) on the other hand was
NNDC; and the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA)47 formed from the AG, the NCNC48.
Nonetheless, every single provincial party obviously overwhelmed its opponents through campaigns.
Sooner, it became sure that the neutrality of the Federal Electoral Commission could not be ensured,
which led the armed force to conduct elections. however, the NCNC returned to control in the
Midwest and east, and the NPC held control of the north and was additionally ready to establish a
central government on its own49.
In 1956 subsequent regional elections became violent the Western Region turn into a “theater
of war” between the NNDP and the NPC, and the AG-UPGA50. during this period the federal
government failed to announce a state of emergency and the military took over power on 15 January
196651. At this time, the First Republic had collapsed. However, in 1979 the successive election was
conducted which led to the third republic. The first executive president of Nigeria, was because of
this election after General Olusegun Obasanjo took over from late General Murtala Mohammed and
handed over to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 197952. The election in 1983 was meant to pave way for
another democratic government, but it never came to be. As the General Muhammadu Buhari led
military government overthrew the Shehu Shagari young democracy and therefore resulted in yet
another military regime53. While, the presidential elections in 1993 elections was extensively detected
as the most free and fair election held in Nigeria ever. The military General Ibrahim Babangida, which
overthrew the General Buhari’s Government, arranged a defective election which was perceived by
some states as a counter to alleged winner of the annulled 1993 presidential elections, M.K.O. Abiola,
46 Ibid. 47 Nigeria Tribune online, 23, September 2016. (https://issuu.com/nigeriantribuneonline/docs/230916) 48 Ibid. 49 Political Archives, Nigeria Civil War, (http://political-archives.blogspot.lt/) 50 Adesina Olanrewaju Ismail, Nigeria, (https://www.scribd.com/document/106158595/Nigeria) Last accessed
03/05/2018. 51 Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, Nigeria, (https://www.encyclopedia.com/places/africa/nigeria-political-
52 Ifedayo Akinwalere, A Brief History of Elections in Nigeria. (http://www.akinwalere.com/2013/04/mass-media-and-
elections-in-nigeria_7682.html) Last accessed 03/05/2018. 53 See Adesina Olanrewaju Ismail, Nigeria: https://www.scribd.com/document/106158595/Nigeria
a Yoruba businessman54. The General later abdicated his eight-year reign and installed a civilian
caretaker government, which Gen. Abacha quickly shouldered aside55. However, it went from Abacha
to Abubakar and the regime harassed and detained journalists, human rights activists, politicians, and
political rivals. MKO Abiola was arrested along with lots of government critics. In November 1995,
the Abacha government executed Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight compatriots from the Ogoni community,
who had agitated for democracy. Meanwhile, the invalidation of the 1993 elections once again led to
yet another military regime which progressed until 1998. The 1999 elections, reestablish democracy
to Nigeria and which run for eight years of unremitting democracy by General Olusegun Obasanjo
who was a former military leader.
2.1. Democratic Consolidation from the Prism of Democratic Peace Theory
This subsection discusses democratic consolidation in Nigeria from a democratic peace
theory perspective in explaining the turning point in Nigeria democracy and its transition from
military regime in the 1990’s. Compared to other African nation, Nigeria has enjoyed absolute peace.
Although statistically, the likelihood of war amongst two nations is significantly quite low, thus the
absenteeism of war between liberal democracies around nations of different historical, political and
economic aspects recommends that there is a strong tendency amongst democratic states against
military violence as a means of solving issues 56. This suggestion of democratic peace did not just
challenge the legitimacy of other political systems such as communism, totalitarianism fascism and
authoritarianism, nonetheless also the dominant realist interpretation of international relations57,
which emphasizes a balance of power calculations and common strategic interests to explain the
relations among liberal democracies, characterized by stability and peace. Even though this may not
hold true for cases of internal conflict, for instance, the issue of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.
This thesis suggests that, in accordance per Immanuel Kant’s perpetual peace theory, the circulation
of democracy universally will lead to a better international peace, however with its occurrence in
corresponding with the solidification of international organization and economic interdependence.
Yet, the difficulty inherent in the democratization process and the doubt lies in the significant risk of
54 See; Kunle Amuwo, Daniel C. Bach, Yann Lebeau, Nigeria during the Abacha Years (1993-1998).
(http://books.openedition.org/ifra/653?lang=en) last accessed 03/04/2018.
55The Carter Centre: Observing the 1998-99 Nigeria Elections Final Report (1999:13)
https://www.cartercenter.org/documents/1152.pdfLast accessed (10/04/2018) 56 Kevin, Placek (Feb 18, 2012). The Democratic Peace Theory. http://www.e-ir.info/2012/02/18/the-democratic-peace-
theory/ Last accessed (09/04/2018) 57 Ibid. 58 Ibid.
Hypothetically, democratic peace theory recommendation gives an unmistakable, intelligent
motive as to why the universal spread of democracy will lead to more prominent universal peace:
self-governing political organizations make it problematic for governments to start war without the
consensus of the people, and the complementary social standards shows democracies will support a
diplomatic method of conflict settlement with each other. Obviously, this would not really diminish
the general occurrence of inside upheavals of war, as frequencies radiating from Boko Haram showed.
Therefore, this would present an optimistic subjective change.
2.2. Presidential Elections in Nigeria Since the Period of 1993-2015
During the presidential elections in 1993, there was a sincere effort to disrupt out of the
misfortune in the utilization of electoral process to elect ethnic and sectional leaders in the 1993
presidential elections. The preparation and process of the elections were carried out by the Military
Government of General Ibrahim Babangida in one of the longest transition agendas in Nigeria.
After several cancellations of aspects of the political transitional program especially those dealing
with the formation and registration of political parties, two parties- the National Republican
Convention (NRC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) which were contraptions of the military
government-finally emerged and contested the elections 59. It is relevant to mention some objective
facts about the voting system utilized as a part of the election. The option A4-represent an incredible
takeoff from the regular voting method which is used in Nigeria as well as in most liberal
democracies. The alternative A4 is an autochthonous creation and a special voting procedure in which
voters are expected to line up behind the photos of their preferred aspirant and political parties. This
voting methodology which regardless of its inadequacies seemed to have dealt with most past
experienced constituent acts of neglect which has defaced elections in the nation. Besides, the test of
democracy appeared to be popular amongst Nigerians and therefore generally accepted by the people.
Perhaps this may partly explain why the 1993 elections have been acclaimed by both national and
international observation mission as the most genuine, free and fair in the history of elections in
nation. Unfortunately, after the fruitful conclusion of the first and second stages of the elections, the
declaration of the outcome of the presidential election and the final stage of the seven years
changeover program was terminated by the military president, General Babangida, when he annulled
the results of election generally with M.K.O. Abiola, the emerging winner and the SDP candidate.
59 Nnadozie, U. (2007:67). “History of Elections in Nigeria” in Jega, A. And Ibeanu, O. (eds) Elections and the Future of
Democracy in Nigeria. Nigerian Political Science Association.
That singular act appeared to have set Nigeria and Nigerians back not only to the electoral drawing
board but also to the political drawing in general60.
The 1999 Presidential Elections: In 1999, after several unfulfilled promises and political
reversing by the military and following the persistent and persistent campaign and struggle by the
civil society to get the military back to the barracks, Nigerians were once again permitted to exercise
their franchise in the 1999 general elections61. Unlike the 1993 elections, the political transition
program which produced the Fourth Republic was so far, the shortest in the country as it was wrapped
up in less than a year. The APP, PDP and AD contested in the elections and later entered an alliance
for the presidential election which enabled them to present one candidate62. It is momentous to
argument that the 1998 and 1999 presidential elections had many similarities with that of the 1979
election as well as the constitutions under which they were conducted but more especially the lack of
bitterness, boycotts, thuggery and other malpractices usually associated with the electoral process in
the country. In detail, the 1999 presidential elections are ascribed to some factors. The first was the
common agreement, unprinted, among Nigerians to avoid what could be used by the military
institution to want to remain in the political affairs. The second is that General Obasanjo and Olu
Falae accord the two of which were presidential competitors were from Yoruba ethnic group and the
same south-west geopolitical zone. However, all the petitions and complaints that rose from the
elections were quiet. At the end of the day, Obasanjo of the PDP was declared the winner of the
presidential elections and sworn in accordingly on 29 May 1999. The PDP not only swept the states
where it won in twenty four out of the thirty-six states of the federation but also had more than a
comfortable majority in both Houses of the National Assembly63.
Additionally, the credibility of the 1999 elections result was challenged, which led to huge
protest, as the aspirant who lost went ahead to challenge the outcomes of the elections as he was not
satisfied by the results. According to domestic and international observers, they claimed the elections
were not credible, together with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican
Institute (IRI)64, the Carter Center, the European Union and the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)
all reported general indiscretions, as well as a ‘miraculous’ attendance of 100 percent voters in Rivers
60 (Nnadozie, U. 2007:35). “History of Elections in Nigeria” in Jega, A. And Ibeanu, O. (eds) Elections and the Future of
Democracy in Nigeria. Nigerian Political Science Association. 61 (Ibid, 2007:68)
62 Ibid. 63 Nnadozie U, “History of Elections in Nigeria” in Jega, A. And Ibeanu, O. (eds) Elections and the Future of Democracy
in Nigeria. Nigerian Political Science Association 2007, 69. 64 Niagale Bagayoko, Eboe Hutchful, Robin Luckham. Hybrid security governance in Africa: rethinking the foundations of
security, justice and legitimate public authority. Conflict, Security & Development 16:1, 2016, p. 1-32.
State through the presidential election65. Hitherto, the attendant protests were moderate as major
stakeholders in the elections including political parties, candidates, and civil society decided to sheath
swords, renew of promises of democracy probably appeased them66. Much consideration was not
given to the integrity of the elections since the election was supposed to fundamentally stop the
military from taking part in politics.
The 2007 Presidential Elections: The presidential elections were held on 21 April 2007. It
was a historic and substantial, for the first time Nigeria successfully transitioned from one civilian
administration to another. The singular importance of this comes from the fact that attempts to do so
failed both in 1966 and 198367. The 2007 Elections were adjudged as the worst Nigeria has ever
witnessed. For instance, reports of International and domestic observers such as European Union
(E.U), International Republican Institute (IRI), International Crisis Group (ICG), Human Rights
Watch (HRW), Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), National Democratic Institute (NDI),
Campaign for Democracy (CD), Democracy Volunteers etc. that Nigeria experienced the worst
elections in her post-independence history in 2007 as the elections fell short of basic International
and Regional Standards for democratic elections. Hence, the elections were marred by poor
organization, the absence of vital transparency, widespread of procedural irregularities, lack of equal
conditions for contestants, at various stages of the elections, fraud, voter exclusion particularly during
the outcome collation were significantly evident68. In detail, European Union concluded that any
administration found on this fraud cannot have legitimacy which is her toughest ever statement on
elections. It was thus concluded that the elections were not credible, free and fair as it did not reflect
the electoral choices of the Nigerian people69.
The 2003 Presidential Elections: Offered yet another vision of a transition from one civilian
government to another. The last two attempts were made in 1964 and 1983 both of which ended, in
such areas as bitterness and rancor, thuggery, boycotts, threats and intimidation, manhandling,
political opponents were kidnapped and assassinated, the use of security officers to manipulate the
electoral processes and bodies against political rivals, the 2003 general elections shared a lot with the
65 The Carter Center, ‘Postelection statement on Nigeria elections, March 1, 1999′. The report was issued in response to
the 27 February presidential election of 1999. http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc891.html. Last
accessed 09/04/2018 66 Darren Kew, Democracy, dem go craze o, monitoring the 1999 Nigerian elections, Issue: A Journal of Opinion 27, 1
1999, p. 29–33. 67 Joshua, T. (2010:16). “Elections in Nigeria and Prospect of Democratic Stability.” Paper Presented at Workshop on
Credible elections in 2011 in Benin September 16. 68 European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM). (2015). Final Report General Elections 28 March 2015, 11
April 2015 (July 2015:4) (https://eeas.europa.eu/archives/eueom/missions/2015/nigeria/pdf/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-
report_en.pdf) Last accessed 29/04/2018. 69 (Ibid., 2010:16)
1964 and1983 elections particularly the former70. After initial hesitation, the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC) which supervised both the 1999 and the 2003 elections reluctantly
registered three other parties such as the United Nigeria People’s Party (UNPP), National Democratic
Party (NDP) and All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), were added in 2002, the supreme court
ruled that INEC has no power to issue guidelines for the formation of political parties outside the
constitutional requirements. This landmark ruling threw the gate open and brought the number of
parties which contested the 2003 elections to a total of twenty-nine which is unprecedented in the
history of elections in Nigeria. Yet again, the ethnic humiliation, which has become a symbol of
elections in the country, was evident.
The 2011 Presidential Elections: was the last elections held in Nigeria, before the most
recent general election in 2015. The presidential elections were conducted on April 16, 2011 71. Thus,
the 2011presidential elections announced by international and domestic observers as reliable
compared to 2007 elections. Also, the 2011 elections did not turn out better as it was categorized by
inescapable violence before, during and after the election process. The 2011 presidential election was
seen widely as being well-run. Still, this was specifically significant given the universally criticized
elections in 200772. Nonetheless, 800 people were killed mostly in Kaduna in three days and 65,000
people were displaced even with being a more translucent election,73. The Christian southerners were
attacked in their homes, businesses, schools, and on the streets and churches burnt by Muslims. The
Christians shortly reacted, only soldiers could succeed in stopping it once violence erupts74.
The 2015 Presidential Elections: The 2015 election in Nigeria is significant because of the
major stance the country occupies in Africa and the interest and regard the international community
have for the state. Also, the need to be sure whether the independent national electoral commission
has enhanced on the negligence that defects the 2011 elections. However, the 2011 election prompt
massive anger, criticism and claims of electoral fraud in the polls.
2.3. General Electoral Processes in Nigeria from the Prism of electoral
integrity 2015 elections in view
70 (Ibid, at page 69) (Joshua, T. 2010). Elections in Nigeria and Prospect of Democratic Stability. Paper Presented at
Workshop on Credible elections in 2011 in Benin September 16. 71 Oluwatobi D, An Appraisal of 2011 General Elections in Nigeria, in Vanguard Newspaper, June 2011, p. 4. 72 See; European Union Election Observation Mission in Nigeria. (2011). Final Report: General Elections. p. 3.
(http://www.eods.eu/library/FR%20NIGERIA%202011_en.pdf) Last accessed 02/05/2018. 73 Human Rights Watch, Nigeria: Post-election Violence Killed 800, May 16, 2011.
https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/16/nigeria-post-election-violence-killed-800 Last accessed 29/04/2018. 74 Ibid.
Elections was presented in Nigeria as aspects of institutional transfer, first as reform
measures in reaction to demands made by the nationalists and later as a process of preparing
indigenous political elites to take over political leadership from colonial masters. Constitutional
reforms were the instruments through which elections were introduced and expanded during the
colonial period75. Since 1914 before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the nation which was as an
amalgamation of the Northern and Southern colonies has previously witnessed various elections.
Regrettably, voting does not amount to choosing in Nigeria as electoral mandates are, arguably, made
by political elites outside electoral norms, rules, and procedures76. There have also been blended
endeavors at turning around this exercise and restoring open certainty. However, the ordinarily
distinguished difficulties are the character of the Nigerian state as the field of the constituent
challenge, powerless law-based establishments and procedures, undemocratic political culture and a
delicate constitutional structure that obstructs the best possible workings of the election management
body. This section looks at how the Nigerian electoral structure obliges or enables factional and non-
partisan political player such as voters, political parties, political aspirants, and constituent authorities
may impact electoral integrity. Thus, the election administration process in Nigeria since its
independence from Britain, has always give rise to disagreement and predicament; mostly stemming
from the apparent association of EMB with the successive military and civilian regimes of the nation’s
post-independence period. The consequences are that Nigeria has been a history of the debate caused
by electoral malpractices, in view of the election administration history of the nation. This section
analyzes the recent and past elections in Nigeria from the period of 1993 to the 2015 presidential
elections. while taking into consideration the electoral integrity context to analyze the main stages of
elections: the pre-election, election day, and the post-election period.
The Pre-election stage Electoral law: The lawful basis for the 2015 elections was gotten
from the 1999 Constitution, The Electoral Act 2010, and INEC’s 2015 Guidelines and Procedures of
elections77. the laws are however accompanied by several legal apparatuses such as the Civil
Procedure Code, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, the Police Act and Guidelines for the Conduct of
Police Officers on Electoral Duty, Guidelines by INEC and the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice
and Sales Promotion (APCON)78. Also, the legal background of the 2015 elections matches some
75 Ujo, A.A. (2003). “Free and Fair Elections in Nigeria: An Unresolved Agenda. Paper presented at a Seminar on Free and
Fair election held in Kaduna, August 26.
76 Ake, C. (2000). The Feasibility of Democracy in Africa. Dakar: CODESRIA. 77 International Foundation for Electoral System, Elections in Nigeria 2015 General Elections, 2015, p.3.
(https://www.ifes.org/sites/default/files/2015_ifes_nigeria_march_general_elections_faqs.pdf) last accessed
05/05/2018. 78 International Foundation for Electoral System, Elections in Nigeria 2015 General Elections, 2015, p.3.
(https://www.ifes.org/sites/default/files/2015_ifes_nigeria_march_general_elections_faqs.pdf) last accessed
reforms from the 2011 electoral process79. In addition, INEC financial autonomy challenges were
addressed, and the current law provides that the salaries of the Chairman, associates and persistent
expenses should be gotten from the Consolidated Revenue Fund and will no longer depend on the
Party primaries: the political gatherings Internal majority rule government has been an
issue of worry in the Nigerian electoral framework. The parties are controlled by specific groups of
godfathers who are sufficiently solid to coordinate run the undertakings of the political parties. This
owes to their staggering money related limit or control of state influence. Along these lines, this
godfathers ordinarily manage who the challenging candidate will be and their position which is not
democratic. Amid the 2015 discretionary process, this issue included clearly with the contribution of
the key political gatherings. For example, the procedure that created President Goodluck Jonathan as
the presidential aspirant of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was entrapped in a calamity81. There
were reports that all other presidential competitors were compelled to pull back from the challenge to
give the president (utilizing officeholder control) the benefit of being the gathering contender for the
2015 decisions. Be that as it may, the EUEOM reports express “the lack of an effective monitoring
mechanism for internal party democratic processes for candidate nomination” and “INEC’s inability
to reject nominated aspirants”82, had negative implications for the credibility of the entire process83.
Voting: during the polling, the EUEOM reports that the citizens showed up to exercise their civic
rights peacefully. But there were 41 cases of electoral violence on the day of the elections which
ended up in the deaths of 19 people. The process of voting was peaceful, and the polling staffs
performed well, however, they complained that less information were given by INEC concerning
encountered problems and ballot papers were insufficient, which led to 13 house rescheduling of
house of representative elections in three states. They also observed that there were credited up to 9%
presence of underage voters at some polling units. As well as the problem of using the card reader
with 91% being unable to verify finger print and 18% malfunctioning Use of the card readers. In
05/05/2018. Also see; Hakeem Onapajo, How Credible Were the Nigerian 2015 General Elections? An “Electoral
Integrity” Framework of Analysis, 2015. p.8-19.
(http://www.inecnigeria.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Conference-Paper-by-Hakeem-Onapajo.pdf) last accessed
79 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) www.inecnigeria.org/wp-content/…/2015/ last accessed
26/03/2018. 80 Ibid. 81 Ibid. 82 ibid. 83 Ibid.
addition, during voting there were 13% of illegal visits by party candidates and trying to interfere
with the voting process84.
Campaign media: the media aids as the manner through which the populace is conversant about the
stand of the election candidates and their parties and expect the part of teaching citizens about the
balloting methods. Nigeria and personal possessed has regularly been steadfastly associated with
electoral problems with a clean show of dispositions for specific applicants towards the opposite. That
is, however, status laws towards such exercise. Media predisposition and out of line scope described
the 2015 election campaign. In details, During the EU EOM content analysis of media coverage, it
observed that The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
(FRCN) deceptively favored the PDP during the campaign. According to EUEOM report, these
national media FRCN was in favored of Goodluck Jonathan, as it took time out to focus on the
incumbent president party. Which led to the absence of compliance of equivalent media coverage.
The report further state that prior to the election prime-time news, PDP received 57% of NTA’s
political coverage, and 43% from FRCN’s. therefore, the PDP added extra airtime over coverage of
presidential with a total of 27% of NTA airtime and 35% of FRCN’s. In disparity to PDP’s total 84%
coverage, APC established 11% on NTA. On FRCN, PDP’s 78% differences with ACP’s 13%. It
totals it was said that prime-time news coverage was devoted to PDP candidates, NTA and FRCN
assigned to President Jonathan 85% and 77%, both NTA and primetime only covered the PDP
candidate and all their official media rounds85.
Campaign finance: Deceptively, the Nigerian government officials woefully flopped in
campaign financing. In like manner, this was the circumstance amid the 2015 races. the Center for
Social Justice, after checking crusade fund in the elections point by point from various standpoints,
reports the total breach of the directions covering effort back in residential and global measures86. the
report claims that the funds were encased by pointless spending, pay off, vote purchasing, unlawful
utilization of state stores, and undisclosed utilization of state back. The report particularly recognized
the enormous measure of cash spent by the Goodluck Jonathan campaign group led by
Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria. However, leading to the re-run of the president which was
for the most part gotten from the state reserves87. The group was engaged with a few remuneration
embarrassments including the claimed 7billion Naira given to the Christian Association of Nigeria
84 Ibid. 85 European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM). (2015). Final Report General Elections 28 March 2015, 11
April 2015. p.24-25. http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/nigeria/docs/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf) last
accessed 29/04/2018. 86 Ibid. 87 Premium times. Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/tag/transformation-
ambassadors-of-nigeria Last accessed 30/04/2018.
(CAN), gigantic a huge number of dollars given to customary rulers to accumulate for re-lection, and
a specific 5 billion Naira was used to incite the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo following its prior determination
not to help President Jonathan’s re-race. A lot of funds was spent in mobilizing sets of groups for
campaign, as well as on air campaign on radios directed towards the APC presidential competitor88.
According to the EU EOM observers reports, “we saw no evidence of centralized systematic fraud
although a few attempts at manipulation were observed”89.
Election day: on the election day, the technical complications because of the card reader
nearly flops the election process. As several voters were unable to get electronically verified due to
the glitches of card readers. In any case, electoral authorities and a few government officials
speculated a thoughtful undermine by a few people who have conflicting agenda to the utilization of
card reader with the point of disparaging the electoral procedure. Nevertheless, INEC was ready to
rescue the electoral procedure by declaring an alternate procedure manual accreditation, which
appreciate voters that experienced the issue. However, the election in 300 polls was rescheduled at
the location of the issue90. A few electoral observers alleged that manual accreditation at some polling
zones would have empowered the acts of neglect which INEC was attempting to forestall through the
electronic framework91. Thus, compared to past elections, on the elections day, there was relative
tranquility. Also, electoral observers complimented the staffs and the election security associated
materials. In addition, in its report, the CLEEN Foundation noted that “In 95 percent of the units
watched, security authorities were portrayed as exceptionally agreeable and congenial, just in 5
percent of units where they depicted as receptive thus, 89 percent of the surveying units were seen to
be sheltered and secure”92.
Post-election dispute: in relation to disputes after the elections, the 2015 elections had fewer
cases of electoral disputes in the afterwards of the elections, however, it had an increase of petition
compared to the 2011 elections which had an increase of a total of 255 petitions filed against the
National Assembly election results, out of which 180 were contesting the results of the House of
Representative results and 75 were challenging the Senatorial election results93. Thus, the presidential
88 See; Pulse.ng on airing documentaries against APC Candidate. http://www.pulse.ng/news/local/muhammadu-buhari-
nbc-indicts-ait-nta-for-airing-documentary-against-apc-candidate-id3617254.html Last accessed 09/04/2018 89European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) (2015:12)
https://eeas.europa.eu/archives/eueom/missions/2015/nigeria/pdf/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf last accessed:
03/04/2018 90 Onapajo, H. (2015). The positive outcome of the 2015 general elections: The salience of electoral reforms. The Round
Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs in press. 91 Ibid. 92 Premium Times. (19 April 2015). Jonathan denies spending N2 trillion on election campaign.
https://www.premiumtimesng.com Last accessed 02/04/2014. 93 The EU EOM collected and studied 87 post-election petitions against National Assembly election results from 19
election in 2015 outcomes had no filed petitions. In details, according to EU EOM report, only one
case of election petition (challenging the parliamentary elections) was filed as at the time the report
was being prepared after the state and national94. However, there is an exceptional drop in election
petitions testing the result of the election, which denotes a decent advancement for the procedure of
Election administration: the significant reason for the presentation of the technological
system during the elections was to curb electoral misconducts, impersonation. fraud and vote buying,
voting, multiple registrations and inflated figures during and after elections expressively. Even
though, INEC also applied the introduction of the National Interagency Advisory Committee on Voter
Education and Publicity (NICVEP) to improve voter education strategy95. Expressively, the use of
trustworthy academics as Returning Officers (ROs) was presented by INEC, as they are people of
integrity who cannot be simply bribed by politicians to commit fraud. Yet, the achievements of INEC
and its progressive reforms, administration of elections was criticized for the following: “extensive
under-collection of the PVCs; incomplete distribution of the card reader; no publication of the final
list of polling units; incompetent recruitment of staff; inadequate training of staff and poor
accreditation of electoral observers”96. This however led to several elections to be postponed in some
2.4. Electoral Violence as Factor Affecting Electoral Integrity in Nigeria
This section examines the issues of electoral violence as a factor affecting electoral
integrity in Nigerian. With a historical viewpoint to examine the origin of electoral violence in
Nigeria electoral process and to also try to define electoral violence. UNDP’s define, electoral
violence as “Any acts or threats of coercion, intimidation, or that arise in the context of an electoral
competition or physical harm committed to affecting an electoral process97. Such violence often takes
place during and after elections between political parties or opponents. Fifteen years after
authoritarianism military regime which was terminated in 1999, elections in Nigeria persisted a
violent, Undeniably, the 2007 polls were widely condemned as the most violent, poorly organized
states of the Federation and the FCT. In 2011 approximately 140 petitions were filed against National Assembly
results. 94 European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM), 2015.
accessed: 03/04/2018. 95 International Crisis Group, Limiting electoral violence, 2015 p. 20. 96 European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) 2015, p. 5.
(https://eeas.europa.eu/archives/eueom/missions/2015/nigeria/pdf/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf) last 97 UNDP, Understanding Electoral Violence in Asia, Bangkok. UNDP Asia-Pacific, 2011.
(www.mn.undp.org/content/dam/…/UnderstandingElectoralViolenceinAsia-eng.pdf) last accessed 04/05/2018.
and vastly rigged in Nigeria’s troubled electoral history98. The late, President Umaru Yar’Adua, the
winner of the election accepted the flaws99.
A historical viewpoint of electoral violence in Nigeria’s electoral procedure from
independence will be sufficient for a clear understanding. Nevertheless, Nigeria’s political history,
has become filled with electoral violence before, during and after elections, be it general, additional
or rerun elections, since its dependence in 1960. And this has not promised well for the sustenance
of democracy in the country100. Violence during elections in Nigeria has become normal each
election year. However, elections have to some extent improved due to the presence of international
observer’s mission since its first observation during the 1999 elections in Nigeria. The Carter Centre
for Democracy observed the elections and concluded its report on the outcome of the presidential
election saying: “the difference was huge between the number of voters observed and the results as
well as the reported from numerous states. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to make an accurate
decision about the presidential election outcome”101. Regardless of the terrible record of the 1999
and 2003 elections, the problems were not rectified by the government even during the subsequent
elections. The Observers from the European Union labeled the 2007 elections as the worst they had
witnessed anywhere in the world. Human Rights Watch approximates that a minimum of 300 people
was linked killed in connection to the 2007 election102.
According to Human Rights Watch, there were several cases of, rings of thugs openly
organized to threaten average citizens and political opponents as well as to snatch ballot boxes, by
mafia-like “godfathers” who sponsor crooked politicians103. In addition, the police were at the scene
during such episodes but often turned a blind eye or contributed to abuses; the electoral commission
reported the victories of the ruling party with high voter turnout, even though elections did not take
place in some locations; In January 2011 Goodluck Jonathan barely secure the ruling party’s ticket
during the party primary, aside from opposition by some of the northern leaders, and he went on to
gain the mostly Christian south through the April elections; yet, in the north which is predominantly
Muslim, Muhammadu Buhari, the APC aspirant, won most of the votes. However, the nation was
98 Ibid. 99 See; Araba, A. Ayanda., Odunayo J. Braimah. (2015). Comparative Study of 2011 and 2015 Presidential Elections in
Nigeria. Kwara State, Nigeria. Volume 20, Issue 12, Ver. II, December. PP 71-77. (http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-
jhss/papers/Vol20-issue12/Version-2/L0201227177.pdf) Last accessed 02/03/2018 100 Abdulrahman Adamu, The Role of Political Education in the Sustenance of Democracy in Nigeria, 2016.
(https://www.ijhsss.com/files/Abdulrahman-Adamu_qush8n75.pdf) Last accessed 09/04/2018. 101See; Observing the 1998-99 Nigeria Elections. (1999). Final Report on Democracy Program. The Carter Center. Atlanta,
Ga. Summer 1999. (https://www.cartercenter.org/documents/1152.pdf) last accessed 28/04/2018. 102 Human Rights Watch. (2011). Nigeria: Post-election Violence Killed 800, May 16, 2011.
(https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/16/nigeria-post-election-violence-killed-800) Last accessed 29/04/2018. 103 Human Rights Watch, Nigeria, Post-Election Violence Killed 800: Promptly Prosecute Offenders, Address Underlying
Causes, 2011. Available at (https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/05/16/nigeria-post-election-violence-killed-800) Last
extremely separated in ethnic and religious positions because of the elections104.
Human Rights Watch in its 2007 report defined the post-independence history of Nigeria as
being dominated by the despoliations of sequences of abusive, corrupt and unaccountable
government105. In seven of the eight general elections held since the nations independence in 1960
through violence since the elections in 1964 and still in 2015. Subsequently after independence, the
nation adopted the parliamentary system of government after the it independence from the British106.
The first post-independence election organized by the government of President Nnamdi Azikiwe in
1964 and 1965 and Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa were branded by extensive criticisms of fraud,
intimidation, and violence. Still, there were reports of Protests in the stir in some areas during the
local elections which malformed into intercommunal demonstrating and violence which killed over
The Guardian, in its report claims, it had obtained a graphic video of past violence in Nigeria
which according to a whistleblower named, Christopher Wylie, claimed that the video was used by
Cambridge Analytica during the 2015 general elections to sway and scare Nigerians into reelecting
the then president Goodluck Jonathan. by trying to convince Nigerians that if they vote in mohamadu
Buhari, he would Islamize Nigeria and introduce the sharia law. in the bid to influence the election
in favor of Goodluck Jonathan. in addition, the whistleblower claimed that Cambridge analytical was
hired by a Nigerian billionaire to influence the election in favor of the then president by targeting his
opponent, Mohammadu Buhari, with the showing of violent and gory footage of people being
dismembered108. Thus, we can confidently say the 2015 general elections were not totally free of
violence but recorded less than previous presidential elections. Although, it had few cases of violence
before and during the elections in some states, however, it has been described one of the freest in
Nigeria political history. The electoral process in Nigeria is guided by a legal framework, however,
the elections are constantly regarded as a contest between individuals seeking to obtain power and
ones who are probable to lose power. The next chapter analyzes the role of INEC in the promotion
of electoral integrity in Nigeria. The chapter explore into the historical background of elections in
Nigeria since its independence in 1960, with a further revelation on the historical events that shaped
the political state in Nigeria. From its first elections in 1959, to different military regimes and the
104 Ibid 105 Ibid. 106 Human Rights Watch, Criminal Politics, Corruption, Godfatherism and the Funding of Political Violence, a Report on
the 2007 General Elections in Nigeria, 2007 available at (www.hrw.org/2007/01/08/criminal-politics/) Last accessed
28/02/2018. 107 Ibid. 108 The Guardian, revealed: graphic video used by Cambridge Analytica to influence Nigerian election Wed 4 Apr 2018.
nigerian-election) Last accessed 05/04/2018.
reoccurring role of electoral violence as a factor affecting electoral integrity while shrinking the
possibility of peaceful, free and fair elections. electoral violence has been a lingering force in the
political affairs of Nigeria, dating back to the evolution of countries democratic consolidation process
and transition from military regime and the prospect for a better democratic system which represents
the interest of the people and the development of the country in all spheres.
3.0 THE ROLE OF INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISION
IN PROMOTING ELECTORAL INTEGRITY IN NIGERIA
This chapter is divided into three subchapters which generally explains the role of Nigeria’s
electoral institution (INEC) in promoting electoral integrity in Nigeria. as well examine electoral
administration and electoral commission and the problem of autonomy with a further in-depth
analysis into INECs challenges in ensuring electoral integrity in the nation and taking into
consideration INEC and electoral integrity in Nigeria and the 2015 presidential elections in view.
The former chairman of INEC, Prof, Jega underline the essentialness of electoral integrity, as
indicated by him, Elections are presently conducted routinely in almost all African states. Be that as
it may, the goal to make them “free and fair” has been undermined by gross irregularities with
negative results for solidity, administration authenticity, and governance. There are however few
uncertainties that promoting electoral integrity is fundamental to democratic consolidation, security,
and solidity in Africa. Additionally, he proposed the following essential factors: In the Democracy
Index of The Economist Intelligence Unit, just a single African nation is positioned as a full
democracy, while the rest are delegated defective, hybrid, or tyrant109; and In spite of frequently led
elections, the vast majority of African nations are positioned as moderate or very low in the
Perception of Electoral Integrity Index110.
Furthermore, the chairman of INEC clarified the role of the commission in the promotion
of Electoral integrity in Nigeria’s electoral framework. He explained that the late Musa Yar’adua was
aware of the electoral issues during the 2007 election and as result of this he came up with the idea
to set up a comprehensive panel to endorse reforms. “I was one of the affiliates. A constitutional
revision, in view of its proposals, and another Electoral Act, made the atmosphere for change. My
administrations on the Election Reform Committee expanded my comprehension of the challenges
and “INEC reserved the civil society associations up-to-date. An alliance. We concentrated on
maintaining the limit with respect to change as well as preventing setbacks. The people were
interested in the change because of the transparency of the hard work as well as our vigorous
outreach”111. He finished up by including that, while addressing these difficulties was troublesome,
109 The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. Op. cit. Africa Plus. (2017). Enhancing Electoral Integrity. Attahiru
Jega and Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission.
national-electoral-commission/) Last accessed 08/04/2018. 110 Ibid. 111Africa Plus, Enhancing Electoral Integrity, Attahiru Jega and Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission,
national-electoral-commission/) Last accessed 08/04/2018.
it was certainly feasible. Ballot papers were numbered and color coded. Also, political party’s
operatives had admittance to outcome sheets which were posted at polling units. Civil society
associations were urged to conduct equivalent vote arrangements. Regardless of the distress of some
advance associates about the hurdles to overwhelm, the technology was effectively used to
accumulate Biometric Register of Voters. Nigeria approved the Universal electoral guidelines. In
addition, permanent voter cards were dispersed to ensure the right documentation of voters. Card
readers for voter check and verification were made accessible at the polling units. Thusly, politicians
were kept from moving voters around communities. In 2015, Nigeria stepped forward in electoral
integrity. We gained from the encounters with others and raised the bar112.
3.1 Election Administration: Electoral Commission and the problem of
In 1960 Nigeria attained its independence from Britain. Similar most previous British
colonies, Nigeria elections have been overseen by a continuous EMB. The political history of Nigeria
is described by years of military regime as well as four republics of civil administration. However,
with each change program, an electoral management authority was established. In addition, Nigeria
has had a total of five EMB’s: The 1964 federal election, as well as the 1965 provincial elections,
were conducted by the Electoral Commission of the Federation (ECF); as well as the Federal Electoral
Commission (FEDECO) that led the transitional elections in 1979 and the 1983 disputable elections,
which ended with the arrival to military control; the National Electoral Commission (NEC) conducted
the three-year change program and ended with the cancelled 1993 elections; General Sani Abacha
founded the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON) to manage his transition program,
which was prematurely ended after his demise in 1998; in the history of Nigeria, INEC remains the
oldest serving EMB. It has successfully conducted five elections: the 1999 shift election; the historic
2003 election, which was the first election successfully conducted under civil administration in the
nation; the first civilian change of administration in Nigeria, was enabled by the critical elections in
2007 and the elections in 2011113. and the most recent 2015 general elections which was another
significant election in Nigeria political history as it was another free and fair presidential election.
The legal framework of Nigeria Elections: Nigeria has experienced historical constitutional
and electoral reforms which date to its colonial era and until 2010, however the debate on electoral
reforms has sustained since the elections in 2011. In addition, it is relevant to take into consideration
that the key constitutional processes in place have been strictly linked to Nigeria’s historical
112 Ibid. 113 Jinadu Adele, Nigeria, in Ismaila M. Fall, Mathias Hounkpe, Adele L. Jinadu and Pascal Kambele (eds), 2011. Op. cit.
ACE Knowledge Network. (http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/em/annex/electoral-management-case-
studies/nigeria-a-need-for-modernization) Last accessed 26/04/2018.
transitional programs. Therefore, subject to legislative ratification, the president usually appoints all
EMB’s since independence. Nevertheless, EMB’s were often selected by the federal executive
council during the military regime. Furthermore, since the introduction of the federal character
principle in 1978 constitution, it remained a key criterion for the appointment of electoral
commissions members114. Indeed, Nigeria’s elections are structured by the 1999 constitution as well
as the 2010 Electoral Act. However, like the former constitutions, INEC was also recognized as a
federal executive body, and the constitution principally states the scope of INEC responsibilities and
authorities, as well as provides for its independence and funding. Furthermore, the 1999 constitution
established 36 Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC’s) in each state of the nation, which are
assigned to conduct local government elections115. Subject to the Senate validation, the constitution
offers the selection of the commission chairman and members by the president. However, at the state
level, the governors employ the chair and members of the SIECs with confirmation from the State
House of Assembly. Similarly, the constitution specifies the criteria for the registration of political
parties116. Thus, numerous reforms have been experienced by Nigeria legal background since 1999.
However, the Electoral Act was passed in 2001, and three other bits of legislations in 2002, 2006 and
2010. Among other changes existing in the 2006 act, it empowered the commission to appoint its
secretary, to start voter education as well as to prosecute lawbreakers; the law also addressed the
uncertainties surrounding the employment and discharge of resident electoral commissioners
(RECs)117. Additionally, the 1999 constitution was amended twice in 2010, after over a decade of
national discourse on constitutional reforms and Subsequent to the conduct of the 2007 elections,
which were reported as the worst in the country’s history118, however, the then president, late
Yar’Adua established the Electoral Reform Committee (ERC) to assess Nigeria’s electoral history as
well as the legal and institutional context for elections conduct, as well as to make suggestions for
The Problem of Autonomy: the activities of electoral management involve administration
of various instruments such as the parts and capacity of the organization. However, democratic system
114 Ibrahim, Jibrin and Garuba, D. (2008). Op. cit. p. 27. ACE Knowledge Network. Electoral Management Case Study of
modernization) last accessed 02/05/2018. 115 ACE Knowledge Network. Electoral Management Case Study of Nigeria.
modernization) last accessed 02/05/2018. 116 Ibid. 117 ACE Knowledge Network. Electoral Management Body (EMB’s) (http://aceproject.org/ace-
en/topics/em/ema/ema01) Last accessed 09/04/2018. 118 Jinadu 2011, Op. cit. p. 153. ACE Knowledge Network. Electoral Management Body (EMB’s)
(http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/em/ema/ema01) Last accessed 09/04/2018.
of government usually has an election administration and the responsibilities of this office may differ
significantly. With overseeing the polling, classifying of votes as well as conducting. However, EMB
obligations can as well stretch out to likewise incorporate enrollment of political parties, oversight of
campaign funds, the outline of the ballot papers, an illustration of electoral limits, disputes resolution,
media monitoring, as well as, communal and voter instruction119. In addition, the Independent Model
of electoral administration is utilized in nations where elections are composed and run by an EMB
that is institutionally an executive branch of government, which is independent and free from the; its
associates are not part of the executive branch of government. Nevertheless, underneath the
independent model, the EMB has and deals with its own financial plan, whereby it is not responsible
to a government or office. However, it might be answerable to the lawmaking body, the head of state
or courts. Furthermore, the EMBs may appreciate changing degrees of ?nancial independence and
responsibility, as well as shifting levels of executive responsibility. Also, rising democracies such as
Armenia, Burkina Faso, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Estonia, Georgia, India, Indonesia,
Liberia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, picked this model120. Thus, Nigeria respectively
apply the independent model of election administration. Notwithstanding, INEC still faces certain
issues which influence and inquires its independence, which undermines electoral integrity. However,
the method in which INEC carries out its obligations has attracted condemnation from every single
political party, the Nigerian Bar Association and Nigerian civil society groups and in addition Human
Also, INEC’s administrative autonomy, was enhanced in Section 160 (1) of the constitution
which was amended providing that, in the case of the Independent National Electoral Commission,
its powers to make its own rules or shall not be subject to the president control or approval but will
adjust its own procedure122. However, amid past elections process in Nigeria, the electoral
commission was censured for taking sides with a political party against its limit123. Nevertheless,
INEC states that aside from the court, it will boycott a couple of obvious resistances from appearing
during the vote in the general elections, with Atiku Abubakar, the Vice President at the time as well
as opposing candidates in a couple of gubernatorial elections124. However, despite a Court of Appeal,
Jega insist Atiku is to be permissible to partake in the elections. Therefore, reflects INEC contradicted
executing the judgment and it went further to provoke it in the Supreme Court. Additionally, there
119 Ibid. 120 Ibid. 121 See Human Rights Watch. A Human Rights Agenda for Nigeria’s General Elections 2007 and beyond, Briefing Paper
Number 2, February 26, 2007, http://hrw.org/backgrounder/africa/nigeria0207/ and Davidson Iriekpen, “NBA Warns 122 Nigeria’s Critical Election, 2011 edited by John, A. A. Ayoade., Adeoye, A. Akinsanya. https://books.google.com.ng/ 123 See; Human Rights Watch, The Role of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The Lessons of 2003.
(https://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/africa/nigeria0407/5.htm) Last accessed 09/04/2018. 124 Ibid.
were also debate surrounding INEC’s claims about its right to screen and bar candidates from
competing if it by any means finds them ineligible to contest under the provisions of Nigeria’s
constitution125. From the arguments gathered above, we can see that INEC is deviating from its duties
of being an autonomous electoral management body that has the power to make its own rules free
from the other external influences. Moreover, the commission is supposed to be neutral always to
oversee transparency and credibility during electoral process to ensure unbiased decision.
3.2. INEC and the Challenges of Free and Fair Elections in Nigeria
Generally, Free and fair elections, remains the foundation of current democratic
government, which expect authorities to check and total polls precisely. The worldwide group burns
through a huge number of dollars consistently endeavoring to guarantee reasonable electoral process
in creating nations with across the board appointive extortion. The influence of international electoral
observation has been sound amid Nigeria’s elections, as well as the recent election which was held
in 2015. The pioneer of (NDI) remarked on how participatory Nigerians were in emancipating their
rights; specifically maintaining the precepts of democracy126. He likewise pinpointed a few troubles
looked amid the elections as well as supported the basic bodies loaded with settling such difficulties
to inspect the circumstance. One of such issues is the card reader machine, during the presidential
election in 2015. There were complain and delays at election units because of the card reader inability
to read a couple of individuals’ cards and neglect to read that of others. This issue relatively raised
the discontents caused by INEC in the movement of election materials to voting units in a few areas.
However, INEC faces a few difficulties in all its elections administration since its establishment in
1998. Another challenge of INEC is the validity issue; as most residents lost confidence in its ability
to perform free, authentic and translucent elections. From 1999-2015, all elections directed by INEC
have been censured as loaded with different issues, bringing about sketchy results. Therefore, INEC
capability is addressed in two ways; the first, primarily recognizes with the arrangement of
individuals without vital expertise and scholarly ability to pilot the issues of the commission, and the
second identifies with INEC’s persistent utilization of impromptu staff, who are typically swiftly
advised for about a day for their election day obligations. These brief staffs need imperative
information and ability to control sound decisions utilizing set down appointive laws127. This chapter,
explained the various roles of INEC in promoting electoral integrity. The INEC over-centralization
of strength in its obligation calls for grave concern. Therefore, these apprehensions and the inferred
125 Ibid. 126 See Naira Project, (https://nairaproject.com/projects/2768.html). 127 Omotola, J.S. (2010). Op. cit. pp. 11. Edet, L.M. (2016). Election Administration and Democratization Process in
Nigeria: An Appraisal of 2007-2015. Acta Universitatis Danubius. Administratio, Vol 8, No 2.
(http://journals.univ-danubius.ro/index.php/administratio/article/view/3827/3843) Last accessed 07/04/2018.
loss of trust in INEC undermines the integrity of elections because of this various challenge.
However, from the above study there is a need for the commission to advance its techniques towards
conducting elections adequately without the influence of political influences, since it is an
independent electoral management body which reserves the right to remain autonomous and neutral
at the same during election administration to enhance the promotion of electoral integrity in the
countries electoral process. Looking back at previous election management by the commission, it
seems to have fair better compared to previous elections especially the 2007 presidential elections
with the worst record of electoral misconduct. The subsequent chapter examine the important role of
international electoral observation in Nigeria elections and the roles and actions it played during the
2015 presidential elections.
4.0 THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL ELECTORAL
OBSERVATION IN NIGERIAN ELECTIONS
This chapter explores the role and action of international electoral observation in Nigeria
elections. while the sub-chapters examine the roles and actions of international electoral observation
during the 2015 elections to explain their impact. The deployment of election observers is a foremost
response to enhance the integrity of elections in both developing and developed countries. Countries
with delicate electoral institution, receives observation mission’s assistance, which is a fundamental
characteristic of the advancement of democracy by foreign and local players128. Roughly 80 percent
of elections that took place around the world in 2006 were monitored by observers129. Furthermore,
it is assumed that the reason for deploying of international observers to underdeveloped countries for
election monitoring is to avoid electoral malpractices during elections. In addition, Elections establish
a grave energy of democratic process. In any case, a democracy that is participatory winds up
misleading when the voters lose confidence in the constituent structure. Be that as it may, the
customary part of election as featured above can be acknowledged in a fair election system,
reasonable and gives an equal ground to other political players. Therefore, the impact of international
electoral observation would aid in promoting electoral integrity in Nigeria political development,
while at the same time reduce electoral violence and other electoral issues which undermines the
growth of electoral integrity in Nigeria electoral atmosphere.
4.1. Roles and Actions of International Electoral Observers in Nigeria
Elections in 2015
The impact of the International electoral observers in guaranteeing democratic solidification
in Nigeria is essential to Nigeria and the African Union specifically in view of the main position
which Nigeria possesses in the Continent. Nevertheless, the electoral observation squads have to turn
out to be credible support for election administration worldwide as well as guaranteeing that states
follow the general prescribed procedures. In addition, the universal electoral standards have turned
into a valuable standard for performance decision. However, from the perspective of the 2015
presidential elections, it was noted that foreign observer teams played roles that were pertinent to the
success of the elections, as follows:
128 Hyde, 2011; Kelley, 2012. Op. cit. Joseph, Asunka., Sarah Brierley., Miriam, Golden., Eric, Kramon., and George, Ofosu
(2013). University of California, Los Angeles. Stanford University.
(http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/miscellaneous_files/Asunka_etal_Protecting_the_Polls.pdf) Last accessed
03/04/2018. 129 Ibid.
Roles: During the elections, INEC was short of staffs as they had recruited less staff for
voter’s administration. However, Some members of the international observation teams had to assist
where essential such as; assisting the federal government by providing financial and material
supports, toward the elections conduct; preventing the voting materials from falling into the wrong
hand as the voting materials were given suitable security nationwide; they revealed that citizens were
ready and willing to accomplish their civic responsibilities; as well as assist in the distributing of
election materials; as the observation teams realized that election materials arrived later than supposed
in some polling units, thus delaying early registering and peaceful conduct of the elections130.
Action: The International Observers supported the Federal Government of Nigeria in
realizing her political aims as well as establish the step for the 2015 general elections preparations,
subject to the Independent National Electoral Commission. The degree to which the arrangements
affirmed to the worldwide values. In terms of the arrangement and supply of vote papers, the
assemblage of voter’s registers, the polls conducted, counting of votes, declaration of the outcome as
well as the election procedure. They observed the election, collected their outcomes and finally made
some announcement on the election conduct. The following is the synopsis of electoral
The methods used to achieve a free and fair election in 2015: The 2015 general elections
were widely praised by local and international observers as the most successful free and fair election
in Nigeria. Most especially because of the methods used in achieving the 2015 election process
successfully with a much less electoral violence throughout the country. During the elections, the
Independent electoral commission (INEC) applied the below methods to attain the level of credibility
accomplished during the general election in 2015.
Voters Registration: During the 2015 elections, one of the significant problems and
condemnation elevated contrary to the past elections which could have additionally influenced the
integrity and validity of elections was voter’s mobilization. As the voter registration preceding the
general elections in 2011 was loaded with inconsistencies and disparities. On the other hand, INEC’s
registration with the use of the biometric was one of the significant accomplishments of the
commission in 2006 by setting the commission above bars. While the activity was seen by numerous
people as unwieldy as it turned out well at the close of the 2015 elections132. Moreover, the
130 Sanusi, Olatunde (2015) The Role of the International Observer in Consolidation of Democracy in Nigeria: A Case of
2015 General Elections. p.67. (http://Www.Eajournals.Org/Wp-Content/Uploads/The-Role-Of-The-International-
Observer-In-Consolidation-Of-Democracy-In-Nigeria.Pdf) Last Accessed 09/04/2018. 131 Ibid. 132 Babatunde Oyekanmi, 2015 General Elections and The Role of INEC: Conference Paper. Ibadan. 2015, p.11.
presentation of technological motivated voter verification molded the elections and gave it open
acknowledgment by the people. The utilization of technology in advancing the electoral integrity in
Nigeria election process cannot be underemphasized. The registration technique and validation of
enrolled voters on the day of election decides the achievement or dissatisfaction of at all election.
However, elections in Nigeria have been loaded with voter’s confirmation-based as well as
registration scam133. Nonetheless, these difficulties were overcome with the use of the card reader.
Election Materials: One of the main causes of elections day and post-election clashes in
Nigeria has been Election Material related134. Reports surfaced that election officer conspired with
politicians to duplicate election materials and late material delivery to several electoral zones with the
aim to ensure that some zone election material does not get delivered. So, therefore, the advancement
embraced by INEC enhanced the electoral process and reinforced its integrity. In addition, INEC
guaranteed that all the Electoral materials were coded in various forms from State to Local
Government levels. In the long run, the material appears to be identical in different areas which made
the stealing of ballot boxes relatively incomprehensible and advanced the security of the material as
well as staffs135.
Polling Center: previously, polling centers could be aimlessly seen in the home of some
prominent individuals, which in return is the route by electoral fraud was executed, in any case, there
was a change from this activity amid the 2015 General Elections as there were harsh devotion, that
polling units should be positioned in public places136.
The announcement of Results: The quick counting and discharging of 2015 election
outcome at each polling centers additionally contributed to credibility and reinforcing of the integrity
of the elections137.
Integrity: the reforms were great. In any case, changes do not execute itself, subsequently,
the character and stubbornness of drivers of change to a huge degree decide the result of such reform.
The INEC leadership should be significantly recognized for showing excellent mettle, the quality of
character, integrity, equality, and impartiality in the release of his obligations. These characteristics
(http://www.inecnigeria.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Conference-Paper-by-Tunde-Oyekanmi.pdf) Last accessed
27/04/2018. 133 Muhammed Adamu, Akowe John-Duke, Selime Democracy and the threat of electoral violence January 12, 2017.
http://sumo.ly/StAL via @blueprint.ng Last accessed 03/04/2018 134 Babatunde Oyekanmi, 2015 General Elections and The Role of INEC: Conference Paper, Ibadan. 2015, p.12.
http://www.inecnigeria.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Conference-Paper-by-Tunde-Oyekanmi.pdf. Last accessed
09/04/2018. 135 Ibid 136 Ibid, p13. 137 Ibid.
of the administration of INEC formed the 2015 elections and guaranteed the solidity as well as
democratic solidification in Nigeria138. In the subsequent subchapter, a comparative analysis of the
presidential election in 1993 and 2015 is established
4.2. An Analysis of the 1993 and 2015 Presidential Elections
For more than two decades Nigeria has conducted several presidential elections, five of
which were successful, and one was annulled in 1993 by the then military leader. However, in all this
election, the 1993 and 2015 presidential elections stood out amongst other elections of 1999, 2003,
2007 and 2011, because of the historical significance both elections stand for as the most peaceful
and credible presidential elections ever recorded in Nigeria. The June 12, 1993, presidential elections
was led by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). According to Nigerians and the international
observers, it was the freest and fairest election ever experienced in Nigeria history. However, the
outcome of the June 12 elections was annulled in the utmost strange scheme by the Babangida led
Government; he went on to nullify all the relevant court decisions, and suspended NEC through an
unsigned brief statement139.
Similarly, in 2015 Nigeria experience yet another historical election crossroad which saw
the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan concede defeat after losing to opponent and past military
leader, Mohammadu Buhari in an unprecedented show of democratic development in the nation. The
electoral process was debatable like other presidential elections conducted after the military hand
over of power. Though in the pre-election periods, political campaigns were frequently intense and
without issue. Nonetheless, in several states across the country, there were recorded varying degrees
of election related violence. Undeniably, the 2015 presidential elections were hugely pronounced as
another electoral landmark in Nigeria’s most intensely contested election since its history. Also, the
the 2015 Presidential elections led by INEC was significant, because it offered the new electronic
accreditation process regardless of the issues encountered, it amplified the credibility of Nigeria
election administration process. Secondly, for the first time in Nigeria history, an incumbent
President lost the elections and conceded to the opposition140.
However, INEC faced severe condemnations on its decision to announce the use of an
electronic accreditation process. Therefore, given the country’s poor state of infrastructure mostly
138 Ibid. 139See: Sahara Reporters. June 12, 1993: A Historical Necessity for Nigeria By Joe Igbokwe
(http://saharareporters.com/2013/06/10/june-12-1993-historical-necessity-nigeria-joe-igbokwe) 29/04/2018. 140 Lawrence, Ime Edet. Election Administration and Democratization Process in Nigeria: An Appraisal of 2007-2015. Acta
Universitatis Danubius. Administration, Vol 8, No 2 (2016).
http://journals.univ-danubius.ro/index.php/administratio/article/view/3827/3843 Last accessed 29/04/2018.
with respects to a deprived power supply which critics defined as too premature141. The 2015
presidential elections; took place in an era where democracy exists, and the international electoral
observation mission was duly present during the elections to avoid electoral malpractices and
electoral violence during and after the elections to enhance electoral integrity amid the electoral
process. Fast forward to twenty-two years later where we have democracy and the international
institutions such as the United Nation, and the international community monitoring the affairs of other
countries to ensure they abide by the universal declaration of human rights to ensure the rights of
individuals are respect and allowed to exercise this rights without restrictions. Unequivocally, it is
relevant to compare both periods of presidential elections that shaped the Nigeria electoral process
historically to have a better
Comparing the 1993 and 2015 presidential elections: the cancellation of 1993 presidential
election as null and void was the ideal opposite of electoral integrit. The eluding of June 12, elections
reflected uncertainty, thought in many ways it was a significant presidential election; as it was the
most passive election ever held in Nigeria since its Independence in 1960, it recorded no electoral
violence, theft of ballot boxes, multiple voting, and rigging during the elections. the election was
eminent and praised by domestic and international electoral observers. The process was free and fair,
we can say, it was one of its kind in Nigeria political history, because for the first time Nigerians were
optimistic, leaving behind ethnic views to chosen leaders of their choice142. However, during the 1993
General Babangida, was said to have carried out a form of experiments, which led to several cases of
intimidation and killing during voting if it does not benefit him. During this period, the international
observers were not as active as they were during the 2015 elections, as it was a period of the military
regime. Which simply means, no freedom of speech, no social media to air opinion and countless
other inhumane violations of human rights to freedom. In 1998 the international observers became
relevant in Nigeria during this period there was an announcement that the decade’s long military rule
was coming to an end. Due to the end of military regime the subsequent year elections in 1999, the
international observers mission became effective, at this time Nigerians believed that any election
rigged or free and fair was better than military rule. However, the hope was brief following the
annulment of the presidential election in 1993, by military general Babangida. compared to the 2015
general election which had electoral supports from international observers monitoring the elections
to avoid election malpractices and violence. In addition, during the June 12, 1993 elections, the role
of international observers was although accepted into the society, the international election observers
141 Obianyo, E. Nkolika., Emesibe, Vincent. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Administration of
2015 Elections in Nigeria: The Strengths, the Weaknesses and the Challenges. http://inecnigeria.org/wp-
content/uploads/2015/07/Conference-Paper-by-Nkolika-Obiano.pdf Last accessed 29/04/2018. 142 Ibid,
had less influence in the Nigeria electoral process as at that time. However, a few years later, the
international observation mission impact experienced through its first electoral observation mission
in Nigeria during the first successful democratic election in 1999.
While analyzing both events, it is relevant to take into consideration the timeline between
the two election periods. Twenty-two years is a long time and a lot has improved since the 1993
presidential election which would have been the first attempt at a democratic experiment in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, the 2015 elections leave a remarkable impact in the political development of Nigeria.
Placing the nation amongst contemporary democratic states and a model of democracy in Africa.
Although, the 1993 presidential elections had less opportunity at achieving a credible outcome, given
the obvious fact that it took place in the military era, a period where people fundamental human rights
were not regarded and where constantly violated by the military regime. Freedom of speech,
expression etc. was constantly violated as people are not able to hold their military leaders
accountable for their actions. However, during the most recent general elections in 2015, the impact
of democracy was duly represented during the electoral process. Undeniably, there was a huge
difference in the way the election was conducted with the international observers present. Human
rights groups were also active in case of human rights violations during the elections by the
government. Distant from the military era where external forces were not allowed to interfere in
domestic or electoral matters because of military rulers. With all this similarities and differences, it is
safe to say that, the two presidential elections, although different period of events. Have uniquely
shaped the electoral process in Nigeria as well as enhance the nations prospect towards achieving
4.3. International Observers, Comments on the Outcome of the 2015
This part outlines the international observer’s outcome of the 2015 presidential elections;
The European Union Election Observation Mission delivered a comprehensive ‘Final Report on
general elections in 2015’; EUEOM said, for the first time with the opposition winning since the
transition from military regime in 1999, it was an historic election, and with the incumbent
presidential candidate, Good luck Jonathan, conceding defeat and thus paving the way for a peaceful
handover of power143. Methodical feebleness exposes electoral management to exploitation by
political nominees, even after INEC’s creditable efforts towards the solidification of the process.
143 Final Report General Elections 28 March 2015, European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM). July, P.10.
http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/nigeria/docs/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf Last accessed
Procedural shortcomings were evident, during collation and from analysis of polling unit results,
however, no centralized systemic fraud was observed. A thrilling election problem can come from
the huge populace, the security state, the problem of infrastructure, and the aggressive political
Following the National Security Advisor and all the Armed Services and Intelligence Chiefs
stating that they could not guarantee security for the proposed election days as six weeks was needed
to conclude military operations against Boko Haram145. The Accord signed in Abuja by presidential
applicants and their parties. the initiative of peaceful elections was established under the portent of
Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary General, however the 36 states of Nigeria implemented 146.
During the elections 2015 in Nigeria, even in the face of condemnation which expanded after both
election days, INEC seems to have done fairly in challenging this situation. In any case, the election
organization stays defenseless against factional operations and additionally frail conveyance that
dangers misuse by parties, given the inadequate prerequisites for straightforwardness and filled public
responsibility and an absence of full institutional autonomy. The law excessively confines the powers
of INEC’s rendering it deficiently viable in challenging improper activities of political candidates.
The INEC administrative guidelines incorporate polling protections, yet genuine procedural faults
embrace especially with respect to clarity and grouping meticulousness. The Inadequacies were
apparent, with arrangements enhancing after the six-week delay147.
Several citizens observers network led an observation which improved the transparency of
the election and added to the electoral deliberation. However, amid the 28 March presidential election,
there was similar outcomes confirmation through the Transition Monitoring Group’s “quick count
that established official outcomes” yet additionally revealed the results manipulation in four states in
the South-South148. Nevertheless, there was a limited observation of a certain significant aspect of the
election procedure and citizen observation was essentially hooked on polling. Furthermore, CSOs
command blended levels of assurance in their political impartiality, neutrality, and capability to
ensure measured answer, with numerous groups being observed as aligned to one of the political
parties and devoted to the election management149.
144 Ibid. 145 Ibid. 146 European Union Election Observation Mission, 2015, http://www.eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/nigeria/docs/eu-
eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf 147 Ibid. 148 Ibid. 149 Ibid.
The European Union Electoral Observation Mission on its report specified that the 2015
elections were peaceful, and the security staffs were at their best in ensuring it was peaceful150. Yet,
the former US Ambassador, John Campbell had an alternative interpretation about the 2015 elections
credibility; he believed the polling at the 2015 elections was reliable. Though, counting of the cast
votes was not credible. He further added that religious and party opinions made a greater influence in
the 2015 election151. In detail, several prominent organizations, such as the European Union, the
African Union, the Commonwealth, the Organization of American expresses, Economic Community
of West African States, as well as outstanding nations, for instance, United State of America, France,
and Britain were all involved with this exercise; as well as diverse non-governmental organizations,
quite among which are the Carter Center, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and
the International Republican Institute. It is appropriate at this junction to observe, the display of
election observation and remarks in Nigeria, with a valuation to lighting up the basis contrary to which
it occurred and as well the idea it was modified to achieve and explain election observation152.
150 Ibid. 151 see Naira Project: https://nairaproject.com/projects/2768.html Last accessed 02/03/2018 152 Final Report General Elections 28 March 2015. (2015). European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM). July,
P.10. http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/nigeria/docs/eu-eom-nigeria-2015-final-report_en.pdf Last accessed
The theory applied in this thesis affords the method and structure to the research, a content
analysis was carried out on the role of international electoral observation mission in Nigeria electoral
process in ensuring electoral integrity; while taking into consideration a selected period of presidential
elections in Nigeria since the presidential elections in 1993 to that of 2015. However, the theoretical
framework of the concept of electoral integrity is adapted as the appropriate theory for this thesis on
“The Effect of International Electoral Observation on Electoral Integrity in Nigeria” one of the
lingering challenges to electoral integrity in Nigeria is electoral Violence, for decades Nigeria
electoral commission has shouldered this issue which affects the political development of the nation.
The concept of electoral integrity comprehensively provides the measure on how to attain electoral
integrity in a democratic nation which Nigeria is and how to overcome such challenges which
deteriorate the democratic consolidation of Nigeria. Electoral integrity advocates that with accuracy,
transparency and neutrality, electoral integrity can be achieved, and the credibility of such elections
depends on the perception of electoral integrity, with solutions in applying the different stages of
elections through the model of electoral circle, which oversee the pre-election, election day and post-
election stages. Proper application of the concept and analysis of electoral integrity as well as the
electoral circle stages during presidential elections in nigeria, could just be the key to achieving
transparent, accurate and genuine elections in nigeria which can put an end to electoral malpractice
and misconducts, in turn These stages define the electoral process and ensures electoral integrity if
applied during elections. the influence of international electoral observation mission has been evident
in the fight against electoral misconduct, such as electoral violence, which undermines the integrity
of presidential elections in Nigeria as most times politician and their parties resolve to violence to
protest the outcome of elections if they emerged as a loser. which in turn resulting senseless killing
of innocent citizens and riots around the nation. The concept of electoral integrity if properly applied
in the electoral management of Nigeria elections with the help of professional expert observation by
the international electoral observation mission, Nigeria would be on its way to conducting credible,
free and fair elections that will shape the political development of the nation.
The second chapter of this thesis examined the study from a historical background and
evolution of democratic elections in Nigeria with a deep insight into the journey towards attaining
free and fair democratic elections. chapter one is further separated into five subsequent subchapters,
with insight on the democratic consolidation in Nigeria after its independence in 1960 from the prism
of democratic peace theory to explain the peaceful transition from military regime to democracy,
while taking into consideration Emmanuel Kant theory on perpetual peace as the means in which
democratic states settle conflict without resorting to military means of settlement. The electoral
processes in conducting elections in Nigeria has suffered relative military rules in the past which went
on to define the nation the way it is today, with the same set of post-independence military rulers
coming back to rule the nation as democratic president with no political, economic and social vision
for the development of the country, but rather the same ideology and philosophy which existed long
before the nation became a democratic state. Because of the method of recycling political leader, the
political development prospect of Nigeria continues to shrink as the country gets worse with each
election. Goodluck Jonathan is the only president that had no military background or any historical
affiliation with the military regime, even the late President Musa Yar’Adua, elder brother Musa
Yar’Adua served during the military rule. Chapter was studied to understand why electoral integrity
is important in achieving free and fair elections in Nigeria in other to solidify democracy in the nation,
from the study we conclude that, the future of a solid democratic Nigeria depends on the will and
drive of the leaders to shun electoral misconducts and look forward to other peaceful and democratic
means that promote electoral integrity during and after elections.
In the third chapter, the role of INEC in promoting in Nigeria, investigate the struggles and
challenges the electoral commission faces in the process of delivering an election which meet with
the requirements of the universal standard of conducting elections. however, the electoral commission
since its inception has struggles with various issues and different regimes both military and
democratic and with every new leader, the chances of reform or change comes. However, INEC is
the longest EMB as compared to other ones that were short-lived. The role of INEC in ensuring
credible and transparent elections only became relevant after the 2015 elections. as its previously
conducted elections had massive traces of electoral violence, fraud, rigging and other election
irregularities. Electoral violence as a factor affecting electoral integrity development in nigeria is an
issue that the commission needs to carefully asses, in other to reach a lasting solution that will put the
nation on the map of democratic nations that can boast to have a solid democratic system free from
electoral violence and election misconduct. Also, the electoral commission maintain its role as an
independent body without any room for impartiality as allege by various reports. However, the
prospect of achieving a well conducted election in nigeria, rest on the working together of INEC and
the international electoral observation mission to ensure electoral violence, while erasing every
chance of electoral misconducts. The commission lack of profession staffs during electoral process
and the issues of failed card reader, needs to be addressed and resolved as the 2019 presidential
elections is just around the corner and with this comes more challenges and responsibilities of
ensuring peaceful democratic election in Nigeria.
The last chapter, carefully examine the role of international electoral observation on elections
in Nigeria. Its effect was obvious during the 2015 presidential elections as it ensures the adequate and
professional conduct and observation of the elections election day, voting process, media monitoring,
election finance, as well as the announcement of result, with such level of election observation in
Nigeria as well as Africa as a whole, we could be looking at stronger democratic nations. Which led
to the election emerging yet another historical point in Nigeria political development and paves the
way for more future free and fair elections. The EUEOM comments on the outcome of the 2015 shows
improvement in election conduct in nigeria, compared to previous elections which were
overshadowed by violence and other electoral misconducts. Although, the 2015 elections had its
lapses with the countries constant threats from the Boko Haram terrorist group, in a bid to weaken
the existence of the nation and threatens its consolidation. INEC also managed the elections played a
role in the success of the presidential elections, regardless of its other challenges with the card reader
and lack of adequate and professional staffs. Nevertheless, the impact of the international observation
mission helped in cubing electoral violence and promote electoral integrity. the thesis also explores a
comparative analysis to better understand the significant of the 1993 and 2015 presidential elections
in Nigeria, looking at the what makes both elections unique and the difference as well as the
similarities that shaped both presidential election periods. Although both elections were free and fair,
the electoral management is significantly different. Even though the 1993 presidential elections took
place at a time where international electoral observation mission had no influence in Nigeria electoral
process and electoral integrity had no grip on election outcomes, it still turns out to be one of the
freest and fair elections ever conducted in Nigeria political history. In a bid to analyze both significant
election period, it is relevant to state that the June 12 1993 elections, could be said to have been the
freest election in the Nigeria history since its independence, because for the first time Nigerians were
optimistic as they looked forward to a new era of a democratic system of government after decades
of military rule, an era that put an end to the military to interfere in politics affairs in the nation.
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