Paving the Way for Entrenching the Diaspora’s Voting Rights under the Nigerian Laws: Legal Prospects, Challenges and Potential Solutions

Abstract

Diaspora overseas or external voting hinges on citizen’s universal right to vote and has become popular among modern democracies all over the world. Over a hundred nations have so far adopted overseas or with varying scopes and/or restrictions. Currently, Nigerian laws do not provide for the right of Nigerians living overseas to participate in elections unless they personally present themselves for registration and voting at designated centers in Nigeria. Since 1999, calls have persisted among Nigerians in the diaspora for law reforms to enable them to exercise their universal right to vote during elections. Since then, various administrations in the Nigerian government have yielded to those calls by setting up an independent dedicated body that is saddled with the responsibility of engaging and mobilizing Nigerians living overseas as equal allies in national development. Nigerians in the diaspora, as equal citizens, should be allowed to exercise their right to vote just like their peers. This article reviews the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act of 2010 and finds that there are some legal hurdles that have to be tackled to allow diaspora overseas voting, and proffers some constitutional amendments and other legal reforms that are necessary to bring this lofty concept into fruition.

References

  • African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (1981). https://au.int/en/treaties/african-charterhuman-and-peoples-rights
  • Agbakwuru, J. (2020, July 25). Diaspora remittances hit $25b per annum ― Buhari. Vanguard News. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/07/diaspora-remittances-hit-25b-per-annum-―- buhari/

Details

Primary Language English
Subjects Law, Political Science
Journal Section Research Articles
Authors

Abba Amsami ELGUJJA
University of Salford
0000-0003-0476-8810
United Kingdom

Publication Date September 30, 2021
Published in Issue Year 2021, Volume 1, Issue 2

Cite

APA Elgujja, A. A. (2021). Paving the Way for Entrenching the Diaspora’s Voting Rights under the Nigerian Laws: Legal Prospects, Challenges and Potential Solutions . Turkish Journal of Diaspora Studies , 1 (2) , 77-95 . Retrieved from https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/tjds/issue/65220/1003064

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