2019 POLLS RE-SCHEDULING: BREACH OR BALANCE OF THE LAW? By Elizabeth Chinenyenwa Nwarueze

2019 POLLS RE-SCHEDULING: BREACH OR BALANCE OF THE LAW? By Elizabeth Chinenyenwa Nwarueze

Cited in the case of Chief Anike Nwoga v National Assembly & 3 Ors. SUIT NO. FHC/EN/CS/28/2018

Elizabeth Chinenyenwa Nwarueze

ABSTRACT:

It is the law, that every democratic nation is marked by constant and periodical change of government. Within the exercise of this very important feature of a democracy, a number of constitutional issues may come up for analysis. In a bid to keep the democratic institution in its true sense, the nation must be circumspect not to sacrifice the extant laws on the altar of getting the process done. As the 2019 polls draw close, every citizen of Nigeria stands at attention, possibly to vote in or out, the promised change. Summarily, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) charged with the responsibility of regulating the procedure and conduct of elections in Nigeria, released the election time-table to the applause of the citizenry. As the storm ahead of the 2019 polls heightens, the National Assembly, exercising its powers to amend laws, made certain amendments, though laudable, to the Electoral Act of 2011. One of these amendments culminates in the re-arrangement of the order in which elections into various offices will be carried out. The extant order as stipulated by the INEC is as follows: Presidential and National Assembly elections – Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections. The National Assembly has however attempted to rejig the order of elections in this manner: National Assembly elections – State House of Assembly and Gubernatorial elections – Presidential elections. It is no doubt a laudable move by the National Assembly when the idea behind the amendment is considered, however, a second thought as to the propriety of the act carried out by the National Assembly leaves a blemish which may determine in future, the extent to which our democracy recognizes the respect for the laws which direct it.

Elizabeth Chinenyenwa Nwarueze

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Elizabeth Nwarueze

Elizabeth Chinenyenwa Nwarueze is a 400Level Law Student at University of Ibadan, Chief Judge of the Law Students Society, UI, Best Law Oralist in West Africa at the Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court Competition 2017, Winner of the Pat Utomi Prize for Students Debate on Public Policy 2016.