Nigeria: General Elections 2019

Time until Saturday, 16 February 2019, 08:00:00 (Lagos time)

COLLATION AND DECLARATION OF RESULTS

INTRODUCTION:

The success of any election depends on efficient planning and its conduct, i.e accreditation, voting, counting, collation and results declaration. Each of these processes feeds into the next. Collation and declaration of results are critical stages in the election process. Failure to complete the collation and transmission of results in a quick, transparent and accurate manner can jeopardize public confidence and the credibility of the elections and will most likely affect whether candidates and political parties accept the final results. There are situations when the integrity of a well run electoral process is severely compromised because of problems experienced during collation and declaration of results. Collation and Declaration of results are therefore critical moments that require proper care and attention.

 

WHAT IS COLLATION?

Collation is the tabulation or summation of votes cast at an election. (INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2016).

 

DECLARATION OF RESULT

This is the final step in the electoral process. It is the official announcement of election results by the electoral administrators. The announcement of results is a mandatory legal requirement of the electoral process. To safeguard integrity, the results must accurately reflect the total votes, taking into account decisions on disputed ballots.

 

 LEVELS OF COLLATION:

There are various levels of Collation. Results are collated and or declared at the following levels depending on the type of election. At each level, there is announcement of votes scored. These include:

  1. Registration Area (RA)/Ward Level
  2. Local Government Area (LGA) Level
  3. State Assembly Constituency Level
  4. Federal (House of Representatives) Constituency Level
  5. Senatorial District Level
  6. State Level
  7. Collation and Declaration of Presidential Election Result at the National Level.

 

AREA COUNCILS ELECTIONS:

  • The Presiding Officers send results of poll to the RA Collation Officer;
  • The RA Collation Officer collates results from polling units, declares the result for Councillorship and returns the winner. The Chairmanship result is sent to the Local Government Area (LGA) Collation Officer;
  • The LGA Collation Officer collates the results from the various wards in the LGA, declares and returns the winner as Chairman-elect for the Local Government;

 

STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTION:

  • The Presiding Officers send results of poll to RA Collation Officer;
  • The RA Collation Officer collates and sends the result to the State Constituency Returning Officer or the LGA Collation Officer depending on the geographical area covered by the State constituency;
  • The result is then sent to the State Constituency Returning Officer who collates and declares the result and returns the winner.

 

GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION:

  • The Presiding Officers send results of poll to the RA Collation Officer;
  • RA Collation Officer collates and sends result to LGA Collation Officer;
  • LGA Collation Officer collates results and sends to State Returning Officer;
  • State Returning Officer collates results from LGA Collation Centres, declares the result and returns the winner as Governor elect for the State.

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS:

  1. Federal Constituency Election Results:

The LGA Collation Officer in charge of the Federal constituency (House of Representatives) elections shall:

  • Receive the original copies of result sheets from the Registration Area/Ward Collation Officer;
  • Collate and add up the results to obtain the LGA summary;
  • Submits the result to the Constituency Collation/Returning Officer.

The Constituency/Returning Officer shall:

  • Collate the results received from the LGA Collation Officers into the appropriate result sheet;
  • Enter the score of each candidate into the Declaration of Result Form for the Federal Constituency and return as elected the candidate with the highest number of valid votes cast at the Federal Constituency Election.

 

  1. Senatorial District Election Results:

The Senatorial District Collation/Retuning Officer shall:

  • Take delivery of the original copies of the results from the LGA Collation Officers;
  • Collate the results into the Senatorial District result form;
  • Enter the score of each candidate into the declaration of result form for the Senate and return as elected the candidate who scores the highest number of valid votes cast at the Senatorial District Election.

 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION:

  • Presiding Officers send results of poll to the RA/Ward Collation Officer;
  • RA/Ward CO collates results and sends to LGA Collation Officer;
  • LGA Collation Officer shall collate results and send to State Collation Officer;
  • State Collation Officer collates results and sends to the Chief Electoral Commissioner (Chairman INEC);
  • The Chief Electoral Commissioner (Chief Returning Officer) collates results from the State Collation Officers, declares the result and returns the winner as President elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

NOTE:

  1. The Presiding Officers/Collation Officers at the various levels complete the result sheet and request the party agents available to counter sign. Duplicate copy of the result is made available to each one while the original is taken to the next level of collation.
  2. The Presiding Officers/Collation Officers at each level completes the notice of results of poll and paste at the Polling Unit or Collation Centre.
  • Where the margin of win between the two leading candidates is not in excess of the total number of registered voters of the Polling Unit(s) where the election was cancelled or not held, the Returning Officer shall decline to make a return until another poll has taken place in the affected Polling Unit(s) and the results incorporated into the existing one.

 

LEGAL ISSUES IN DECLARATION OF ELECTION RESULT:

  1. A candidate for a contested election to the office of Chairman of an Area Council shall be declared winner if he has:
  • A majority of the votes cast at the election; and
  • Not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the Wards in the Area Council.
  1. Candidates for contested elections to State Houses of Assembly and National Assembly Elections emerge winners by simple majority votes.

 

  1. A candidate for a contested election to the office of Governor shall be declared winner if he has:
  • The highest number of votes cast at the election; and
  • Not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the LGAs in the state.

 

  1. A candidate for a contested election to the office of president shall be declared winner if he or she has:
  • The highest number of votes cast at the election; and
  • Not less than one-quarter of votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all States in the Federation and the FCT, Abuja.

 

NOTE:

Where two or more candidates pull equal number of votes being the highest in an election, the Returning Officer shall not return any of the candidates and a fresh election shall be held for the candidates on a date to be appointed by the Commission (Section 69 of Electoral Act 2010 as amended).

Where no candidate gets the required spread, the Commission shall within seven (7) days of the result of the election arrange for another election between the candidate who scored the highest number of votes at the election and one among the remaining candidates who has a majority of votes in the highest number of States. Where there are more than one candidate with a majority of votes in the highest number of States, the candidate with the highest total of votes cast at the election shall be the second candidate for the election.

A candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of president if he has a majority of the votes cast at the election. Section 133 (3)(4) of the 1999 Constitution.

 

DECLARATIONS MADE AT DIFFERENT ELECTIONS:

Results are declared at various stages depending on the type of Election.

  1. Councillorship Election                –        RA/Ward Collation Centre
  2. Chairmanship Election                           –         LGA Collation Centre
  3. State House of Representative   –           State Constituency Collation                 Election                                                                     Centre
  4. Federal House of Representative – Federal Constituency Collation Election                                                                 Centre
  5. Senatorial Election –                          Senatorial District Collation Centre
  6. Governorship Election             –              State Collation Centre
  7. Presidential Election             –              Presidential Collation Centre

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND ENQUIRIES, CONTACT

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