Judicialization Of Electoral Outcomes In Nigeria: Case Of 2019 Presidential Election.


  • Omotola Shola
  • Owoeye Gbenga


Judicialization, Election, Presidential, Outcomes, Nigeria.


Courts intervention in Nigeria political corridor is a topical issue that is gaining attention of scholars of psephology and democratization. There is large volume of literature that has dealt with the pre- election and post -election issues at the state and national parliamentary elections in the country, but much study is yet to be done to capture the intricacies of presidential election petitions. May 29, 1999 marked a watershed in the history of the country, as Nigeria experienced a restoration of democratic governance, signposting the fourth republic. Since then, most of the presidential elections conducted has ended up in the court room. The study interrogated participant’s views who are purposively selected of the performance of the judiciary in settling electoral disputes, and the capacity of the judiciary to offer remedies when election falls below the expectation of freeness and fairness, with reference to the 2019 presidential election. Using the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), we gained access into how participants’ make sense of the courts activities within the country’s political space. Result revealed that the super presidentialism system which the country practices, allowed the constitution to give enormous power to the executive arm of government making the other arm especially the judiciary to be sub-servient to the former. The study also found that lack of strong will on the part of the judicial official has as compared to other climes, especially Kenya and Malawi could be responsible for inability of the courts to be objective in determining election outcomes. We equally found that the palpable institutional weakness could serve a tool for the elite class to clinch unto power and make their selves unnoticeably formidable. We discovered that most judges have a strong ethnic, party and religious affiliation which often time influences their decision. The implications of the findings were examined within the context of the separation of power.