Section 116, 117, 118, 119 of the 1999 Constitution: Elections to the State House of Assembly

State house of assembly

The 1999 Constitution

Section 116 (1)

Elections to a House of Assembly shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

(INEC will be responsible for setting up a date for elections to enter the House of Assembly)

Section 116 (2)

The date mentioned in subsection (1) of this section shall not be earlier than sixty days before and not later than the date on which the House of Assembly stands dissolved, or where the election is to fill a vacancy occurring more than three months before such date, not later than one month after the vacancy occurred.

(The date for election which was mentioned in the above sub section 1 must be within 60 days of when the current House of Assembly will end. The date cannot come after when the current House of Assembly will end. When the election is to fill an opening in the House of Assembly, and the opening is further than 3 months from when that Assembly will end, the election must happen within 1 month of the opening occurring.) 

Section 117 (1)

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every State constituency established in accordance with the
provisions of this part of this Chapter shall return one member who shall be directly elected to a House of Assembly in such manner as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly.

(Each of the shared areas (constituencies) created by INEC shall have one member to represent it in the State House of Assembly. This person shall be elected by a method that is decided by the National Assembly. )

Section 117 (2)

Every citizen of Nigeria, who has attained the age of eighteen years residing in Nigeria at the time of the
registration of voters for purposes of election to any legislative house, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter for that election.

(To be able to vote for a representative in the House of Assembly, you have to be 

i. A Nigerian Citizen;

ii. 18 years or older;

iii. be residing in Nigeria when they are registering voters.)

Section 118

The registration of voters and the conduct of elections shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

(INEC is in charge of setting up and monitoring both the registration of voters and the election process )

Section 119 (a)(b)(c)

The National Assembly shall make provisions as respects –

(a) persons who may apply to an election tribunal for the determination of any question as to whether –

(i) any person has been validly elected as a member of a House of Assembly,

(ii) the term of office of any person has ceased, or

(iii) the seat in a House of Assembly of a member of that House has become vacant;

(b) circumstances and manner in which, and the conditions upon which, such application may be made; and

(c) powers, practice and procedure of the election tribunal in relation to any such application.

(Once there is a question about whether a person properly won the election to the House of Assembly, whether a person’s service as a representative in the House of Assembly has ended, or whether there is an opening in the House of Assembly, INEC will be in charge of the following-

  1. Determining who can raise such questions or challenges;
  2. The rules governing how to make an application to address these questions; and
  3. The powers and policies of the election tribunal that will review the application/question.)


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