Nigeria’s Supreme Court will hold a hearing in Abuja today on the 2022 Electoral Act.
Today’s hearing comes after President Muhammadu Buhari contended that certain sections of the Act are inconsistent with the Nigerian constitution, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The offending sections add extra qualifications for various elected positions including the presidency. Buhari seeks to strike the sections from the amendment, declaring them unconstitutional, unlawful and thus null and void.
In advance of the February 2023 presidential elections, Buhari has presented himself as a bastion of democratic principles. In addition to protecting the constitutional legitimacy of Nigerian electoral law, the President has personally ensured his democratic succession. Despite supporters’ calls for a constitutional amendment that would extend his presidential term limit, Buhari declared he would complete his tenure as president, and that his May 29, 2023 end date is sacrosanct.
Expect Buhari to continue efforts in reinforcing Nigerian democracy until his term is up. With recent trends of regional democratic backsliding, Buhari aims to maintain Nigeria’s position of influence as Africa’s economic powerhouse. This means avoiding democratic collapse following his exit from power, especially considering greater regional instability in West Africa.
Download the Daily Brief app to stay ahead of geopolitics with daily, short, forward-looking analysis of geopolitical events before they hit the headlines.
Keely is an Analyst with regional expertise in Sub-Saharan Africa. A weekly contributor to the Daily Brief, she specializes in conflict dynamics and geopolitics in West and Central Africa.