Absentee Voting Rights: The Case of Nigeria

Absentee Voting Rights: The Case of Nigeria

In 2012, six Members of Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, House Committee Chair on Nigerians in the Diaspora sponsored a Legislative Bill that seeks to amend Nigeria’s Electoral Act 2010 in order to grant Nigerians in the Diaspora the right to vote during general elections in Nigeria. This article provides a detailed review of the provisions of the proposed legislation in order to ascertain and expand the rationale for the Bill, the advantages and disadvantages of the Bill, constitutional and legal issues around the Bill and a comparative analysis of similar legislation in other countries.

Nigeria’s Electoral Act 2010 is divided into 9 major Parts, 158 Sections and three Schedules. The Act provides for the establishment and functions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)1, the Procedure at Elections; National Voters Register and Voters Registration; Formation, Functions and Powers of Political Parties; Electoral Offences, among other things.