Section 71 and 72 of the 1999 Constitution: Senatorial Districts and Federal Constituencies

Senatorial district

The 1999 Constitution

Section 71

Subject to the provisions of section 72 of this Constitution, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall –

(The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) shall do the following in line with Section 72 of the Constitution; )


Section 71 (a)

divide each State of the Federation into three Senatorial districts for purposes of elections to the Senate; and;

(Create Senatorial districts for Senate elections. These districts are made by dividing each state into 3 (Three) Senatorial districts. This essentially means every state will have 3 senators representing that state. )


Section 71 (b)

subject to the provisions of section 49 of this Constitution, divide the Federation into three hundred and sixty Federal constituencies for purposes of elections to the House of Representatives. 

(Create 360 (Three hundred and sixty) constituencies for House of Representative elections. The number of constituencies (i.e. 360) is determined by Section 49 of this Constitution. If that Section changes this number (i.e. 360), then INEC’s work has changed also. Section 49 also requires that when INEC is creating these constituencies, they should contain approximately the same population of people. The constituency created must be within a state. )


Section 72

No Senatorial district or Federal constituency shall fall within more than one State, and the boundaries of each district or constituency shall be as contiguous as possible and be such that the number of inhabitants thereof is as nearly equal to the population quota as is reasonably practicable.

(When making the senatorial districts or the constituencies, INEC must ensure that the district or the constituency created must be within a state. The borders of the districts or constituencies must touch; INEC cannot leave gaps. This means that there will be no empty space that is not covered by a district or a constituency.  Again, INEC must try as much as possible to share the districts (in each state) and the constituencies equally (based on population).)

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