n Journal of African Elections - Rigging through the courts : the judiciary and electoral fraud in Nigeria

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



Since Nigeria's return to democratic rule in 1999 elections in the country have been accompanied by reports of widespread fraud. A number of studies have illustrated the many ways in which electoral fraud is perpetrated in Nigeria. However, there is yet to be a serious study showing the judicial dimension to such fraud. This study reveals the relationship of the judiciary to electoral fraud. Analysing data sourced from written records (newspaper reports, election observers' reports, law reports and political party publications) and interviews, the study argues that the structure and condition of the Nigerian judiciary can help to explain the incidence of electoral fraud in the country. It also makes a new contribution to the existing literature on the nature and causes of electoral fraud, showing that non-electoral institutions, especially the judiciary, and non-political elites can be relevant to the explanation of electoral fraud in a country.

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