Electoral laws and political will as strange partners in Nigeria’s electoral politics
The Legal framework for an electoral system is a composite of laws including constitutional provisions, electoral Acts, guidelines, legal precedence and codes of conduct. Fair electoral competition requires equality before the law, equal protection of the law and provision of effective remedies for violation of the rights of electoral competitors. However, the issue of effective sanctions for breaches of election laws, rules and procedures poses an important challenge to the credibility of elections in Nigeria. This essay examines the intricate link between electoral laws and the political will on the part of the leadership in Nigeria. It interrogates the legal framework for electoral politics in the country and the enforcement of these laws within the usual volatile political environment. Drawing instances from the 2015 general elections in particular, this essay highlights the infringements of various sections of the electoral law- without sanction for the offenders -and how this development fuels impunity in the country’s electoral politics.