The Functionality of the Election Tribunal in Nigeria concerning Election Petition

Chinwe Umegbolu, Uriah Bajela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper scrutinises whether it is possible to have Court-Connected Alternative Dispute Resolution, hereinafter ADR, to cover election petitions in Nigeria. An election petition is a peculiar breed of adversarial matters litigated over in courts, which is exclusively created for the sole purpose of reaching a speedy resolution within the allocated time frame provided by the law. There are no provisions under the extant legal framework for elections and election disputes in Nigeria for the use of court-connected ADR to resolve or settle election disputes. The zero-sum nature of Nigerian politics, characterised as the winner takes all; the loser takes none, coupled with the fact that elections are prone to violence and corruption because the seats for grabs are very lucrative- government positions make election disputes unarguably unsuitable for ADR mechanisms.

However, the ADR strategy of looking at the interests of the parties rather than at their positions may hold some hope for applying ADR options to election disputes. An interest-based perspective to resolving disputes holds more promise than the traditional position-based perspective. Hence, the paper will analyse what the election tribunal does and whether it has ever used ADR as an option in its history. If not, what hopes are held out that Court-Connected ADR or induced ADR could ever be introduced to disputes concerning an area hotly contested as an election petition?
The paper employs qualitative, primary and secondary resources to tackle the above-stated questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages11
JournalAthens Journal of Law
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Election Tribunal
  • Election Petition
  • Political Parties
  • Nigeria


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