Sustainable Democratization through ICT Driven Electoral Petition Tribunal in Nigeria

Sustainable Democratization through ICT Driven Electoral Petition Tribunal in Nigeria

Author by Dr. Veronica Ekundayo

Language: English

Abstract

Democratization is a foreign phenomenon to the indigenous system of governance in Africa. For instance, the Yorubas in the SouthWest Nigeria have an adage that aptly captures the philosophy of governance in the words, “Ade a pe lori, bata a pe lese” (which translates to “Long Live the King”). It is not quite an easy task to adopt the Western philosophy of ideal governance expressed in the term “democratization.” It cannot be easily imbibed in Africa. That is why there is so much controversy over acceptance of defeat in elections in a majority of African states. In Nigeria, huge public fund is used to defend the mandate supposedly given by the people in courts and where the petitioner defeats the incumbency in court he recoups his expenses back from state coffers. The judiciary that should be the unbiased and final umpire has been dragged into a politics of highest bidder. Recent cross allegations of bribery of the electoral tribunals by the political parties culminated in the battle between a Chief Justice and a President of the Court of Appeal. Besides, a petition when it runs its full course from the Trial Tribunal to the Appeal Tribunal may last some tenure before judgment is finally delivered. This paper seeks to propose an ICT driven electoral petition tribunal as the way out to eliminating the human interface in the tribunals that are inimical to sustainable democratization through the judiciary.


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