Compliance with Electoral Law

275. Burden on party alleging non-compliance with electoral law.
“It is desirable that where a petitioner in an election petition has alleged a particular
-non compliance in an election he must strive to satisfy the Court that such
non-compliance is substantial enough to affect the over all result of the poll complained
against, See: Kudu v. Aliyu (1992) 3 N.W.L.R. (Pt. 231) 615 at 634 in which reliance
was placed on the case of Akinfosile v. Ijose (1960) S.C.N.L.R. 447, Imiereve v.
Salami (1989) 2 N.E.P.L.R. 31; Ojukwu v. Onwudiwe (1984) Vol. 1 S.C.N.L.R.
247 at 306.” - Per Galadima, J.C.A. in Ogbu v. Nnaji Suit No. CA/E/30/99; (1999)
4 N.W.L.R. (Pt. 597) 87 at 94.
276. Can an Election be conducted substantially in accordance with the
Provisions of the Electoral Act.
“It is settled law that in determining whether or nor an election was conducted
substantially in accordance with the Act, the Court will look at the circumstances of
the case, including the state of the pleadings especially the credibility of the petitioner’s
position and nature and substance of the complaints of the petitioner, the attitude of
the functionaries charged with the conduct of the election and whether the omissions
and commission complained of by the petitioner even if proved actually affected the
true course of a free and fair election. The onus is therefore on the petitioner to
adduce sufficient evidence of non-compliance and then show that non-compliance
did in fact substantially affect the result of the election. See Eribumo v. Ezeife
(1992) 4 N.W.L.R. (Pt. 236) 417 and Akinfosile v. Ajose (1960) 5 F.S.C. 192.” Per
Opene, J.C.A. in Nnaji v. Agbo (2006) 2 E.P.R. Pg. 867 at 894 (para. E - H)
277. Can parties waive compliance with statutory provisions.
“I agree with the learned counsel for appellants that parties cannot waive compliance
with or whittle down the requirement of statutory provisions which are clear and
unambiguous but to expound the words in their natural and ordinary sense as the
words alone doe best declare the intent of the legislature. The parties cannot even
by agreement consent to waive compliance with statutory requirements but to construe
the words according to the intention of the Parliament. Vide Oviawe v. Integrated
Rubber Products Ltd., (supra).” Per Salami, J.C.A. in Ibrahim v. I.N.E.C. (1999)
8 N.W.L.R. (Pt. 614) 334 at 346.
278. Can the return to an election be avoided where there is substantial
compliance with the Electoral Law.
“The return to an election will not be avoided where the Tribunal or Court is satisfied
that there was substantial compliance with the law governing the conduct of the
Compliance with electoral law Paras. 275 - 278

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