3.1       Introduction
            Jurisdiction is the fulcrum upon which a court is vested with judicial power to adjudicate on disputes among parties to an action. The centrality of jurisdiction to the determination of disputes is crucial. The issue of jurisdiction appears familiar among the legal community; however, it is a recurring decimal as petitions are filed in courts or tribunals that lack jurisdiction. It is safe to assert that jurisdiction is a recondite issue, hence the need for an in depth analysis to enhance understanding and appreciation. The court in a plethora of cases has firmly defined the concept of jurisdiction. In Uba V Etiaba1, the concept of jurisdiction was critically examined by the court in the following words:

            “Jurisdiction is defined as a term of comprehensive import embracing all kinds of judicial action. It is basically the legal right by which judges exercise their authority including the powers to hear and determine the subject matter in controversy between parties to a suit. It is the basic foundation and conduct of access to court in adjudication under the Nigeria legal system.”
From this definition, the pivotal role of jurisdiction is beyond argument. Jurisdiction goes to the root of proceedings. The absence of it vitiates the entire trial or petition as the case may be.
            In the same vein, jurisdiction is the bedrock of a court. It is to a court what a spinal cord is to a man. If it is damaged, the survival of that person is in serious jeopardy. So also is the survival of the suit before a court or tribunal which lack jurisdiction. Whatever procedure is adopted by that court, however brilliantly conducted becomes a nullity and subject to be set aside. The issue of jurisdiction certainly is a threshold matter and no court can assume jurisdiction where it has none by circumventing or misinterpreting the prevailing law. This is the position of the Supreme Court in the case of Turaki V Dalhatu.2
            It is germane to assert that jurisdiction is a threshold issue and life wire for the continuance of any proceedings. It is liken to blood in human body. It is the heart of adjudication, without the heart in human life, existence is in doubt.
            The vital aspect of jurisdiction with radical effect on adjudication as to render the proceedings a nullity was enunciated by the court of Appeal in Action Congress V Kaigama3. It was held that:
            “Jurisdiction is the nerve center of adjudication. It is a radical and vital question of competence because if a court has no jurisdiction to entertain a cause or matter because of any defect(s) in the process of initiating same, the proceeding remains a nullity ab nitio no matter how well conducted and brilliantly decided, they might be; as a defect in competence is not intrinsic, but extrinsic to the entire adjudication”.

            It is relevant to assert that there is a nexus between justiciability and jurisdiction. There is a correlation between “Justiciability” and “Jurisdiction”. Justifiability and jurisdiction in respect of causes or matters are interwoven. If a matter is not justiciable, a tribunal or court lacks requisite power or jurisdiction to entertain it. This is the position of the Supreme Court in the case of Madukolu V Nkemdilim4 and the court of appeal in Ozigbo V PDP5
            Finally, the issue of jurisdiction is a matter of what the statute says about a particular subject, that is to say whether the matter could be subject to trial in a particular court of law. It is obvious and only reasonable therefore to embark on a trial where there is certainty, or if there appears to be certainty that the court has jurisdiction. This is the position of the court of appeal per Ogunbiyi, JCA in case of Okonkwo v. INEC6.
            The jurisdiction of a Special Courts, indeed of all courts is circumscribed by the statute creating such a court or tribunal. In this case, the jurisdiction the election tribunal is confined, limited and restricted by the provision of paragraph 49(2) and (5) of the first scheduled to the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended). The above position was upheld in the case of Agagu v. Mimko7.
            In all, by virtue of section 285 of the 1999 constitution, there shall be established in each state of the Federation one of more election tribunals to be known as the Governorship and legislative house Election tribunals which shall, to the exclusion of any other court or tribunal, have jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as so whether any person has been validly elected to the office of the governor or deputy governor. It follows, therefore, that the only forum for the determination as to whether a person has been validly elected to the office governor of a state is the Governorship Election Tribunal constituted for that purpose. No other court has original jurisdiction to determine the issue. This was the decision reached by the court in the case of Ogboru V. Ibori8
3.2       Establishment/Constitutive Jurisdiction
            It is important to point out that prior to the amendment of the constitution ,the Governorship and Legislative House Election Tribunal were fused. The creation of Governorship Election Tribunal is therefore novel and a welcome development as stated earlier in this work. The establishment of election petition tribunals in Nigeria can be gleaned form the name. However, section 285 (1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) established the Election Tribunals. In this case, the Governorship Election petition Tribunal under subsection (2). By subsection 2 of the above section, the tribunal is vested with the original jurisdiction to hear and determine petition as to whether any person has been validly elected to the office of a governor or Deputy Governor.
            Jurisdiction is a very fundamental issue in law, and it conferment must be made very clear. The language of the relevant laws (substantive and procedural) and the decisions of superior courts (on the basis of judicial precedents) constitute the linchpin. A court is only competent when the subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court or tribunal exercising its jurisdiction. The competency of tribunal or courts is crucial for the exercise of jurisdiction by such tribunal or court.
            There are four ingredients that must be established for a tribunal or court to be competent to assume jurisdiction for the determination of election petition. They are:
(a)       the court or Tribunal must be properly constituted with respect to the number and qualification.
(b)       The subject matter of the action must be within its jurisdiction.
(c)       The action is initiated by due process of law.
(d)       Any condition precedent to the exercise of its jurisdiction has been fulfilled. The Supreme Court in the celebrated case of Madukolu & ors V. Nkemdilim9 established these ingredients necessary to guarantee the competence of court.
            The above criteria are conjunctive and must be fulfilled before court can assume jurisdiction to exercise judicial power. The competence Vel non of a court is a legal condition. It cannot be waived not even by the consent of the parties and/or their Counsel10. It can be raised by either of or all the parties or the Court Suo motu at any stage of the proceeding11. The issue of substantial justice does not arise where Court lacks juridiction12.
            The constitutive jurisdiction of election petition Tribunals will be discussed under the following headings.
(a)       Court of Appeal. Section 237(1)13 established the court of appeal. It has exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine any question as to whether: “any person has been validly elected to the office of the president or Vice president under this constitution”14. In the hearing and determination of an election petition in its original jurisdiction, the Court of Appeal shall be duly constituted if it consists of, at least three justices of the Court of Appeal15. It should be noted that Election tribunals for various Local government areas and the Federal capital Territory Area councils, are outside the ambit of this work and therefore not examined. The Supreme Court in Chief Emmanuel Osita Okere v. Alhaji Umuani Musa Yar’Adua and 34 ors16, defined election petition to mean ”any election petition under the electoral act including election petition which challenges the validity of election of persons into the office of the president or vice president of Nigeria”17
            In chief Olusegun Obasanjo & 2 ors V. Alhaji Mohammed Dikko Yusuf,18 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the April 19, 2003 general election returned the first appellant as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The first and 2nd respondents filed election petition at the Presidential Election Tribunal constituted by the Court of Appeal. The appellants challenged the competence of the petition on ground that certain paragraphs of the said petition raised breaches of the Constitution and Companies and Allied Matters Act, which according to the appellants, were not cognizable in an election petition based on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Tribunal that is the Court of Appeal in its well considered ruling held:
“Indeed it is true that some of the matters complained of in the paragraphs relates to breaches of the Constitution and Companies and Allied Matter Act, but the fact that these breaches related to or arose out of the conduct of presidential election or properly linked under the 1999 Constitution and the electoral Act 2002, only this Court to the exclusion of any other court in Nigeria that has the original jurisdiction to hear and determine such question under section 239(10) of the 1999 Constitution in an election petition.”19
On appeal to the Supreme Court, the apex court held that “matters or things which constitute infractions of the Constitution and Companies and Allied Matters Act or any Act for that matter, should go before the High Court and or Federal High Court as the case may be”. From the above definition, it should be noted that both the Tribunal and the Supreme Court were in agreement that there were breaches of the Constitution and the provision of the Companies and Allied Matter Act; that those breaches arose out of and in the course of the conduct of the presidential election and that election petition can be presented solely on the constitution challenging the validity of the election of president and vice president of Nigeria.20
Appeal from the decision of Court of Appeal on the matter of election of president and vice president of Nigeria lies to the supreme as of right and it is exclusive.21 The Court of Appeal entertains appeals from the decisions of the National Assembly Election Tribunals, and the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Legislative Houses Election Tribunals on any question as to whether any person has validly elected
a)                 As a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly of a State under the Constitution or
b)                 To the office of the Governor or Deputy Governor.
The decision of the Court of Appeal over appeals arising from the judgment of Governorship, Legislative House Election Tribunals and/or National Assembly Election Tribunals is Final.22  No further appeal to the Supreme Court even when the decision of the Court of Appeal was wrong.
            However, the finality of the said decision is subject to the inherent competence of the same Court to set aside its own judgment on various judicial recognized grounds namely:
(a)       Where the judgment was obtained by fraud or deceit
(b)       Where the judgment is a nullity,
(c)       Where the judgment was obtained under the mistaken belief that parties have consented.
(d)       The judgment was obtained without jurisdiction,23
(e)       The procedure adopted was such that it deprived the judgment of the character of legitimate adjudication.24
            The nexus between the original jurisdiction of Court of Appeal and its jurisdiction in Presidential Election Tribunal must be stated. Section 145(1) is a general provision relating to all elective position under the Electoral Act. Section 239(1) (a) is a specific provision relating to only the election of the president or vice president. It would appear that the general provision of section 145(1)(c) of the Electoral Act can be assimilated into section 239(1)(c) of the Constitution. The court held that section 239(1) (a) of the Constitution provides a sole ground for questioning whether a person has been validly elected to the office of president or Vice president25
(b)       National Assembly election Tribunal
            The National Assembly Election Tribunal is established under the constitution with the exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether:
            (a)       any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly;
            (b)       the term of office any person under this constitution has ceased;
            (c)       The seat of a member of the senate of a member of the House of representative has become vacant; and
            (d)       a question or petition brought before the election tribunal has been properly or improperly brought.26
            The National Assembly Election petition Tribunal shall consist of a chairman and four other members. The chairman must be a judge of a High court and the four other members shall be appointed form among judges of a High court, Kadis of a Shaira court of appeal, judges of a customary court of appeal or other members of the judiciary not below the rank of a chief magistrate.27 The chairman and other members shall be appointed by the president of court of appeal in consultation with the Chief Judge of the state, the Grand Kadi of the Sharia court of Appeal of the state or the president of the customary court of Appeal of the State, as the case may be.28
            The composition of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal is in accordance with paragraphs 1 (1) and 2 (1) of the 6th schedule to the constitution (as amended). However, the quorum consists of the chairman and one other member pursuant to section 285 (4) of the 1999 constitution (as amended). This is departure from the composition and quorum prescribed under the 1999 constitution which consists of the chairman and for other members and a chairman and two other members as held in the case of Agagu v. Mimiko29.
“Section 285 (4) of the 1999 constitution states that the quorum of an election tribunal established under the section shall be the chairman and two other members. In the instance case, the chairman and three members of the tribunal were constant throughout the whole proceedings of the tribunal. In the circumstance, the compliant of the appellant relating to change of the composition of the tribunal was unfounded”.

            The combined effect of section 285 (3) & (4) of the 1999 constitution, paragraph 1(1) of the sixth schedule of the constitution and paragraphs 24(2) and 26 (2) of the 1st schedule to the Electoral act, 2006, is that an election tribunal shall consist of five members with a quorum of three members at any sitting. The tribunal will thus be duly constituted if it consists of at least three members exclusive of the chairman. In the absence of the chairman of the tribunal who commenced the proceedings, the Act gives the new chairman the discretion to recommend and continue the proceedings.30
(c)              The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal
The governorship election petition tribunal is a recent development in our legal system. This is because before now, the Governorship and legislative Houses Tribunal were fused. Therefore, the creation of Governorship Election Tribunal is novel and welcome development.
Section 285 (4) of the 1999 constitution states that the quorum of an Election Tribunal established under the section shall the chairman and two other members.  Going by this provision, the problem of majority judgment may arise. This will happen if the judgment is for and against, how will the tie be broken?  That is to say, whether the chairman has veto power on the issue in order to resolve the problem. From my own view, it seems the chairman has such power, so that one of judgments should be adopted.
However section 285(3) states that the composition of the Government ship Election tribunal shall be as set out in the sixth schedule to this constitution. Also, according to item 2(1) of the sixth schedule, a governorship election tribunal shall consist of a chairman and four other members. The chairman shall be a judge of a High court and four other members shall be appointed form among the judges of a High Court, Kadis of a Shaira Court of Appeal, judges of a Customary Court of Aappeal or members of the judiciary not below the rank of a magistrate.31 The chairman and other members shall be appointed by the president of the Court of Appeal in consultation with the chief judge of the state , the Grand Kadi of the Shaira Court of Appeal of the State or the president of the customary Court of Appeal of the state, as the may be.32
            From the above provision in the sixth schedule, the composition of the Governorship Election Tribunal appears properly constituted if it consists of the chairman and not less than two other members.33. It should also be noted that before now, the same panel that hears and determine the Governorship and Legislative House Election petition also hears and determine the governorship and legislative House election petition34 although the jurisdiction of the tribunals in respect of subject matter and parties are distinct and unrelated35.  The position is no longer the same, since we now have a separate tribunal called the Governorship Election petition tribunal which is the focus of this work.
Finally, it is submitted that the National assembly election tribunal and the Governorship Election Tribunal established under S. 285 of the 1999 Constitution are not superior courts of records. This is because neither of the tribunals is specifically listed as a superior court of record under the constitution.36 Also, a chief magistrate is qualified for membership of either of the tribunals and may, indeed sit in the panel.
3.3       Subject Matter Jurisdiction
            The subject matter of a case before a court or tribunal is empowered to entertain, it means that the tribunal lacks jurisdiction. For instance, the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal is empowered to hear and determine any matter as to: whether any person has been validly a elected to the office of the Governor or Deputy Governor. In the of Madukolu & ORS v Nkemdilim,37 it was held that a court is competent when “the subject matter of the case is within its jurisdiction, and there is no feature in the case which prevents the court exercising its jurisdiction. From this decision, it should be borne in mind that subject matter of a case is not the only condition precedent for assuming jurisdiction by a tribunal.
            Election petition must be predicated on valid subject matter or ground in law. The subject matter may be under the constitution or the Electoral Act, hence there are two classes of election petition and they include: (a) election petition under the consistution38 and (b) election petition under the electoral Act.39
            Under the constitution, the tribunals have the power to hear and determine any matter brought before it under the following subject matters, that is whether any person has been validly elected to the office of.
(a)       President and vice president
(b)       Member of the National Assembly;40 and
(c)       Governor and Deputy governor or/and member of any Legislative House.
            Under the electoral Act, four grounds are established upon which an election may be questioned. These grounds are discussed in details hereunder. By the provision of the Electoral Act, “An election may be question on any of the following grounds, that is to say:
(a)       That a person whose election is questionable was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election’
(b)       That the election was invalid by reason of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provision of this Act;
(c)       That the respondent was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election; or
(d)       That the petitioner or its candidate was validly nominated but was unlawful excluded from the election42.
From the above provision, for a tribunal to hear and determine any matter, it must be brought under the above grounds otherwise the tribunal will not assume jurisdiction. It should be noted that any of the grounds mentioned in section 138(1) of Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) can vitiates an election if sustained by the tribunal or court.43
            Another issue to be considered under subject matter jurisdiction is: whether an Election Tribunal has jurisdiction to decided pre-election matters? An election tribunal has no power to investigate matter which took place before the conduct of an election. Indeed, it is the jurisdiction of ordinary Courts to decide pre-election matters and which jurisdiction is unimpaired by virtue of section 178(2) and 285 92) of the 1999 constitution (as amended). Only the Federal High Court or a State High court has jurisdiction under this subject matter. In P.D.P. v ONWE,44 the dispute which gave to the petition was the appellant nomination/ substitution exercise. It was clearly an intra party/pre-election dispute and had noting to do with the election of 21st April 2007. The court held that both Election Tribunal and Court of appeal had no jurisdiction and so the petition ought to have been struck out. Also, on the disputes arising from primary election, the Election Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain such matter45. This is so because, it is a pre-election matter.
                        Issues of nomination, sponsorship and substitution are pre-election matters which by their nature cannot be ventilated before an Election Petition Tribunal, as tribunals are not set up for that purpose.46
 Having discussed the subject matter where an election tribunal has jurisdiction to entertain, it is imperative to note that the issue of qualification of candidates can be validly challenged at the Election Tribunal within the purview of section 138(1) 9a) of the Electoral act, 2010 (as amended). It hereby asserted that the express provision of section 138 (1) (a) does not cover issues of nomination of candidates. The qualification envisaged, is within the contemplation of constitutional provisions as enshrined in sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 0f the 1999 constitution (as amended). 
               It should also be bone in mind that the issue of qualification of candidates as provided in section 31 (4) and (5) of the Electoral  Act, 2010 (as amended) which falls within pre-election matters does not in any way constitute a dog as to deprive the election Tribunal the requisite adjudicatory powers47
          Finally, it also instructive to assert that the elective Tribunals have the jurisdiction to nullify an election within the contemplation of section 140 (1) of the .electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)  these powers extend to the Court of Appeal and the supreme Court pursuant of sections 239, 246 (3) and 233 (2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended).  A community reading of section 140 (1) of the electoral Act and paragraph 28 of the 1st schedule to the electoral Act vests jurisdiction on the election Tribunal to nullify electoral in the case of uba V Efiaba48
3.4       Parties Jurisdiction
            Competent parties are necessary for a tribunal to assume jurisdiction in an election petition.  The partition must have the locus stand which the necessary respondent must be joined in the partition neither the parties nor the Courts can Confer or vest jurisdiction.49
          Also, agreement, acquiescence, consent or even by submission by parties does not or better still, cannot confer or vest jurisdiction on a court of law or tribunal where in law such jurisdiction does not exist.  So if the party submitted to the jurisdiction or acquiesced there be of the tribunal to entertain the petition, if in law the petition was in competent the tribunal, the tribunal lacks the requisite jurisdiction to try the petition.  And any proceedings conducted therein will be an exergue in futility no matter how well they were conducted.50
     Having noted that parties cannot confer jurisdiction on a Court, it should however be noted be noted that a Court, which has jurisdiction to an action will not subsequently lose that jurisdiction simply because a defendant, or respondent in election matters, in some cartage position and in complete disregard for the outcome of the pending suit, goes ahead to do that which is sought to be perverted in the suit.51 In election petition, there are the petitioner and the respondent.
 (a) petitioner (s).
 A petitioner in election petition is either an articulate at the election or a political party that participated in the election or both.52  An articulate in any election is not defined by the Act.  However, it was held that a claudicate at an election does not refer to a person “who had the intention to contest and election but who was not allowed to context”53.  This definition tents to support the position that a person validly nominated for an election but unlawful removed cannot presented election petition.  However, in the case of Ibrahim Ldris V ANPP54, the Court of Appeal opined that a candidate validly nominated but unlaw fully excluded form the election qualifies as a candidate for the compose of presentation of election petition.  The mere fact that the candidate was not voted for at the polis irrelevant.55
      For a better understanding of who may present election petition, it is necessary to define election itself. Election as a process does not have any comprehensive definition.  It is a process that culminated into a return of a candidate with the lightest number of valid votes cast.  Merely voting in a polling unit is not election per be but a poll.56
In INEC & Ors57 V Onyimbah E-C- Ray & Ors the concept of election was defined by the court as
… a process constituting accreditation, voting, collation, recording on all relevant INEC from and declaration of results.  The collation of all results of the polling units making up the bards and the declaration of results are, therefore, constituent elements of elections know to law.
The Act defines election to mean every election held under the Act and includes referendum58.  Election, for the purpose of candidates that can present election petitions and the grounds thereof may be restricted to the polling.  In the strict sense, a difference exists between election in its wide sense59 and a poll, though it is conventional to refer as election the day that voting takes place ( poll day)60
       A candidate that can present election petition is one that participated in the poll.  This is because election as variously used in the Act refers to the poll and no more.  The above position is evident from the provision of the Act relating to the appointment of a date for the holding of an election,61 postponement of an election,62 delivery of nomination papers for the purpose of election,63 substitution of candidates on ground of death,64 nomination of candidates 30days before the date of election65 etc.  Election as used above refer to the polling day
       It should be noted that a political party or its candidates or both can present election petition where the electoral body unlawfully excludes the validly nominated candidates of the said political party from the election (poll) provided the nomination and / or substitution is not an issue before the tribunal.66
(b) Respondent (s)
       A respondent is a person against whom a case, suit, or appeal is filed in a whom in turn is required to answer, or act according to the discretions issued by the court till conclusion of the legal proceedings.  In this case a respondent is a person against whom election petition is presented.   There are three cat engines of respondents in election they are
(a).      Statutory respondent who is the successful candidate at the election
(b).      electoral officers, presiding officers, returning officers whose conducts are subject of complaints in the petition and
(c).      any other person who took part in the conduct of the election and whose conduct is subject of complaint in the petition.67
       The phrase “any other person who took part in the conducts of the INEC who took part in the conduct of the election but also includes a police officer that was assigned the duty to ensure peaceful and free election but instead assisted to stuff ballot boxes with unlawful ballot papers.  But an unsuccessful candidate may be made a respondent in election petition if he does not object or withhold his consent. 68
Effect of lack of jurisdiction
The, effect of lack of jurisdiction from a plenitude of cases is that the entire proceeding will amount to a nullity.  In Ikharalde VOKOH69 it was held that:
Where a court lacks jurisdiction no matters how well the trial is conducted, the trial would be a nullity.  That is the general state of law in adverbial jurisdiction.

            From the decision of the court it therefore follows that where a court lacks jurisdiction, any trial conducted is as nullify. In other words. The existence or matter so as to sustain or nullify the court’s decision or order in respect of the relevant subject matter.70
He is pertinent to assert that where an appellate court reaches a verdict that a trial count lacked jurisdiction, other issues for determination in an appeal will not be considered. The above posit was restated by the apex court in the case of Nwankwo V far Adua71 as follows:
Where, as in the instance, case, an appellate court finds out that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to entertain an action or application forming the basis of an appeal, it will be unnecessary to consider the rest of the issues that have to do with the merit of the case.

The general position of law is to the effect that when a court lacks jurisdiction the proper order to make is to strike the nut the suit. This is in with the cherished principle to enable the affected case of Uba v Efiaba,72  the court held that in the situation where a court lack jurisdiction to entertain a suit the proper order to make is to strike out the suit.
            It is opposite to state that in view of the peculiarity of election petitions where time is of the essence and there is a prescribed time frame for filling petition, it would amount to an academic exercise to strike out an election petition for want of jurisdiction.73 The counter find solace in the profound judgment of the court of Appeal as to the proper order to make where an election Tribunal lacks jurisdiction, in Orji V Ugochukwu,74 where it was held;
It is the petitioner’s petition or plaintiff’s action threat vests jurisdiction in a court, and if the petitioner’s claim has divested the trial tribunal of jurisdiction, the entire proceedings before the tribunal constitutes a nullity and since an election matter is sui generic, the proper order to make is not just striking not but that of dismissal.
The decision of the curt of appeal is to the effect that the order of dismissal should be made instead of striking out the suit.

1 Uba V Efiaba (2008) 6 NWLR (P+1082), 155 at 182-183 Paras- G-A.
2 Turaki V Dalhatus (2001) FLWR (p+55) Pg 501
3 Action Congress V Kaigama (2008) 8 NWLR (p+1088) 165 at 180 pana B-D.
4Madukolu V Nkemdilim (1962) 2 SCNLR 341
5 Ozigbo V PDP (2010) 9 NWLR (Pt.1200) 600 at 647 para. B-C.
6 Okonkwo v. INEC (2006) 2 EPr at 149
7 Agagu v. Mimko (2009) 7 NWLR (Pt 1140) 343 at 390 – B-D.
8 Ogburu v. Ibori (2003) 13 NWLR (Pt. 942) 319 at 438-439 paras. D-A
9 Supra.
10 Constitution of the Federal Reuplic of Nigeria (as amended)
11 NDIC V CBN & Anor (2009) 9NSCQR 430 at p. 443; Labour Party v. INEC (2009) 6 NWLR (pt. 1137) 31 at p. 332.
12 Emma O.Emesir V. Calista Nwachukwu & ors (1999) 3 NWLR (PF596), 590 at p. 604.
13 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)
14 Ibid. Section 239(1( (11). Obasanjo V. Yusiff & anor (2004) 9 NWLR (pt. 877), 144 at p. 180 paras C-f.
15Ibid. Section 239 (2) Osita  V Musa Yar-Adua & 3 4 ORS (2008)
16 Supra.
17 Supra at page 116 paragraphs A-B.
18 Supra
19 Supra at p. 183 paragraphs F-G
20 Supra at pp 183-184 Paragraph H-A
21 Section 233 (1) (2) (e) (i), 1999 Constitution ( as amended ).

22. Section 246 (3) of the 1999 constitution
23.Adeyemi Bero V Babatunde Omotosito &3 ors ( 2008 ) 15 NWLR ( pt. 1111 ) page 567
24.Aliance for Democracy V INEC $ 3 ors ( 2004 )  EPR 288. Page 304, paras. C-E
25Obsanjo v Yusuf (2004) 9 NWLR (pt 877) P. 144 referred in Buhari v INEC (2008) 17 NWLR (pt 1120) 246 at 351 paras F-G.
26 Omoworare V Omisore (2010) 3 NWLR (Pt. 1180) 58 at 109-110, paras F-B.
27 Sixth Schedule item 1 (1) to the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria
28 Sixth Schedule, items 1 (3), Ibid.
29 Agagu v. Mimiko (2009) INWLR (pt 1121) at 58 -59 play, H.A.
30 Bichi v Shekarau (2009) 7 NWLR (pt 1140 ) 342 at 397, paras. G-H; Ngige v. Obi (2006) 14NWLR (pt 999) 1p.1
31 Sixth Schedule, item 2 (2) of the 1999 constitution
32 sixth Schedule, item 2 (3) Ibid.
33 Setion 285(4) Ibid, Ugochilkwa Agballah v. chinaroke Nnamani v ors (2006) 2 EPR 757 at 786.
34 chief Suleman M. Ajadi v. Simeon Sule Ajiho & ors (2004) 16 nWLR (Pt 898), 91 at p.158-159.
35 Harastrup Adewale Olatunyi v. tayo Akaarde & ors (2006) 2 EPR 962 at P. 971-972.
36 Section 6(3) (5) (9) to (1) of the1999 Constitution. This section enumerates the superior courts of records in Nigeria.
37 Madulolu & ors v. Nkemdilim (1962) 2 NSCC 323
38 Section 329 (1) (a), 285 (1) (a) (2) of the 1999 Constitution
39 Section 138 (1) (a) (b) (c) & (d), Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) Obasanjo ors v Yusaf & anor (supra) at p. 180-181
40 Section 285(1) (a) of the 1999 constitution
42. section 13891) (a-d) of the Electoral Acts, 2010
43 Ojukwu V. Yar’Adua (2009) 12 NWLR (pt. 1154) 50 at 173-174, Paras, H-D per Onnoghen, JSC.
44 P.D.P v Onwe (2011) 3 NWLR (pt 1236) 166 at 176 paras. C-D, 174, para B.
45 Bob V. Akpan (2008) 7 NWLR (pt 1087) page  449
46  SaU Latoa V Kabir (2011) 2 WWLR (Pt. 1232) 417 at 440 Para D. Ucha v Onwe (2011) 4 NWLR (pt 1237) 386 at 428 Para S, F-G
47 Anambra State V Nwankwo (1999) 5 NWLR (pt 601) P. 134 Nwankwo v Atta (1995) 9 NWLR (pt. 418) P. 245
48 Uba v Etiaba Supra, Para D.
49 African Newspaper v F.R.N (1985) 2 NWLR (pt. 6) P- 137; Enimiken V Sylva (2008) 8 NWLR (pt. 1088) 207 at 222 Para B-C.
50 Sule V Kabin (supra ) Pars. G-B
51 Amechi V INEC (2007) 18 NWLR (Pt. 1065) P. 42; Badejo V Federal Minister of Education (1996) 8 NWLR (Pt 464) P. 15
52 Section 137(1) of the E.A, 2010 (as amended) which is in para masteria with section 144 of the Electoral Act, 2006
53 Bakola Adebusuyi V Babatunde Ofuligoye & Ors (2004) 1 NWLR (pt 920 p. 140, Okonkwo  INEC (2006) EPR P. 94
54 Ibrahim Idris V ANPP (2008) 8 NWLR (Pt 1088) P.1
55 Amechi V INEC Supra
56 Justice P.A Onamade, Op.Cit P.2
57 INEC V Onyimbah (2004) 14 NWLR (pt 892) 92 at P. 123
58 Section 156 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)
59 Ojukwu V Obasanjo & ors (2004) 1EPR 626 at 653 where in election was defined widely to include determination of constituency. Cited by C-A Igwe: Jurisdiction f Election Tribunals in Nigeria, EBSU Journal of Commercial and Industrial Law P. 46.
60 Ibid, Page 46
61 Section 25 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended)
62 Section 26 Ibid
63 Section 31 Ibid
64 Section 36
65 Section 34 Ibid
66 C.A Igwe Jurisdiction of Election Tribunal in Nigeria EBSU Journal of Commercial & Industrial Law Vol. 1.p. 46
67 Muhammelu Buhari V Obasanjo & ors (2005) 2 NWLR Ipt 910) 1, at P. 726 Paragraphs C-E.
68 Olusegun Obasanjo & 2 ors V Mohammed Dikko Yusuf & anr (2004) 9 NWLR (pt. 877) 144 at P. 215; Buhari V Yusuf (2003) 14 NWLR (Pt. 841, 446.
69 Ikharaide V Okoh (2009) 12 NWLR (pt. 1154) P. 31 Paras E-F.
70 Ibaku V Ebim (2010) 17 NWLR (Pt. 1222) 286 at 315 Pas C-E
71 Nwakwo V Var Adua (2010) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1209) 419 at Para H.
72 Supra P. 155 at 223, para. G.
73 J.E Alobo: Juridprudence of Election Petition; in Honour of Chief Whole Olamipokun SAW, 2011 Published by Diamondreal Resources Consult P. 441.
74 Orji V Ugochukwu (2009) 14 NWLR (Pt. 1161) 8 WWLR (pt 614) P. 334, Mustapha V Governor of Lagos State (1987) 2 NWLR (Pt. 58) P. 539.
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