The Role Of Electoral Commission In Enhancing The Development Of Democracy In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Imo State Independent Electoral Commission Owerri IMSIEC)

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration

Project and Seminar material for Public Administration


This research work “The role of electoral commissions in enhancing the development of democracy in Nigeria was carried out to examine the activities of the electoral commissions and its contribution towards the development of democracy in Nigeria.

Chapter one took a cursory look at the problems that led to the research which stems from the haphazard ways in which election in the past were organized which always leads to violence and crises in the country, thus, inhibiting the development programmes of the government.

Chapter two examined the various views and opinions of different authors and journal that were of relevance to the research been conducted. Chapter three on the other hand, explained the methodology adopted in arriving at an unbiased finding.

Thus, the population and sampling procedure were clearly identified.Chapter four analyzed the data presented and as well discussed the findings and as well discussed the work, and made recommendation for further research.

Table Of Contents

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Statement of hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 Scope of the study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the study
  • 1.9 Definition of terms.

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Function of electoral commission
  • 2.3 Purpose of election
  • 2.4 Types of election
  • 2.5 Features of free and fair election
  • 2.6 Factor affecting free and fair election In Nigeria
  • 2.7 Problems of electoral commission
  • 2.8 Election and sustenance of democracy
  • 2.9 How to achieve or enhance the development of true democracy in Nigeria
  • References 25

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Design and Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research design
  • 3.3 Sources/methods of data collection
  • 3.4 Population and sample size
  • 3.5 Sample techniques
  • 3.6 Validity and reliability of measuring instrument
  • 3.7 method of data analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Presentation and Analysis of Data

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Presentation of data
  • 4.3 Analysis of data
  • 4.4 Test of hypothesis

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Summary
  • 5.3 Conclusion
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix
  • Questionnaires

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

In every democratic system, the electorate elect those who will represent their interest at the governmental level and chart the course for their socio-economic development.

Election are therefore used as vital instrument to elect those who would be in authority and champion the course and welfare of the citizenry as well as promoting peace and stability in the state.

In Nigeria, the independent national electoral commission (INEC) was set up in 1998 by major general Abdusalam Abubakar who succeeded the then head of state major general Sani Abacha who died mysteriously. prior to Abachas exit, he had in place an electoral body known as national electoral commission (NEC) charged to organized the election that will usher in the democratically elected government in 1st October 1998.

However, after his death, the Abubarka’s regime cognizance of the role of electoral commission dissolved the NEC and set-up-the INEC. to organized and ensure an effective election and smooth transition of power from military government to democratic government respectably. thus, to ensure holistic conduct of the elections, state independent electoral commissions were set up or established in all the states of the federation.

Hence, the emergence of Imo state independent electoral commission (ISIEC) which had the same statutory function as that of INEC to ensure a peaceful and free and fair conduct of both state, local government and counsel election in Imo state.

Therefore, for a deeper and encompassing knowledge of the roles of electoral commission in enhancing the development of democracy in Nigeria, ISIEC was considered as a case study in view of the fact that it constitutes an integral part of independent national electoral commission. However, the staff of ISIEC, who were one hundred and twenty (120) and the general public who were fifty two (52) in number through random selection constituted the populated for this research exercise

1.2 Statement Of Problem

There had been clarion calls from some people in Nigeria on the haphazard manner and patterns in which electoral commissions handled elections in the fast, result often leads to corruption of violence and subsequent lost of valuable lives and properties.

In addition, the problems of electoral mal-practice, rigging, ballot box and paper hijack among the rank and file of the assumed independent electoral commission officials, which remorsefully in most cases, erupt crisis thereby destabilizing the policy.

Furthermore, the issue of late arrival of and in adequate electoral materials in most polling centres as well as inaccurate voters list which sometimes disfranchise eligible registered electorates from exercising their civil responsibilities. most importantly non-neutrality of the electoral commission constitutes remorsefully another major problem.

It is uncontestable that the various electoral commission we have had in the past have in one way or the other being unduly influenced by some political stalwarts declaring a falsified result in favour of candidates who would have lost the election.

Additionally, it is believed that he who pays the piper, dictates the tone, therefore, there is every possibility that influence by the ruling party will definitely affect the statutory performance of the independent electoral commission.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

Aware of the fact that the peace and stability of a given polity cannot be handled with kid glove approach, the need to evolve an effective and efficient functional machinery of transition of power from one democratically elected government to another becomes unquestionably imperative. In the light of the above, this research seeks to pursue the following objective.

  1. Assess the performance of the electoral commission in Nigeria especially, the independent national electoral commission (INEC).
  2. To examine the role, functions and activities of the electoral commission in Nigeria with a view to ensure the peace and stability of the nation.
  3. To analyze the problems, hindrances, obstacle and lapses of the electoral commission
  4. To examine the feature of free and fair election in Nigeria.
  5. To identify the problems of the military against the conduct of free and fair elections in Nigeria using Imo state independent as a case study.

1.4 Statement Of Hypothesis

The following hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to enable him verify the validity of his claim on the issue on ground.

  • Ho: Represent null hypothesis
  • Hi: Represent alternative hypothesis

Stated below are the hypothesis formulated by the researcher

Hypothesis 1:

  • Ho: The electoral processes in Nigeria do not significantly enhance nation building.
  • Hi: The electoral processes in Nigeria significantly enhance nation building.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The significance of this study cannot be over emphasized. This research work is therefore significant in the following areas.

  1. Nigeria citizens will be informed on the activities of the INEC.
  2. It will serve as an eye-opener to the electorate who will be exposed to some vital issues beyond their imagination
  3. It will also be significant to the politicians who allow their selfish interest to come to bear on the collective interest of the people 0f Nigeria.
  4. It will also serve as a moral boaster to the officials of the independent national and state electoral commission on the vital role they play is enhancing democracy in Nigeria.
  5. It is significant for students who would want to research further on the course under discussion
  6. It will equally expose the researcher on some vital issue affecting the stability of the country.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This research work was limited to Imo state alone. the dimension of this study will not exceed the use of questionnaire and personal interviews through requests for relevant materials and available document from the chairman of Imo state independent electoral commission and select few of the civil society as the case may be.

Furthermore, this study does not intend to involve the computation of all nations as it may amount to deviations. But selected ones may be computed depending on the degree of importance.

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

In the course of conducting this academic exercise, the researcher faced some constraints that posed a hindrance to the realization of the set objective among these constraints is the problem of data collection, some of the informations was gotten by the researcher from staff of the INEC due to the transfer of the ISIEC chairman during the course of conducting this research.

Furthermore, some of the information required were strictly confidential and pose a threat to the job Security of the officers in questions.

Finally, lack of adequate funding, available time frame and unwillingness of some of the respondents to answer questions correctly.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Independent National Electoral Commission


Imo State Independent Electoral Commission


The people in a country who have the right to vote.


The process of choosing a person or group of person for leadership position.


Choice made by a participant in a shared decision


A system of government whereby the people elect those who are to represent their interest

at both the federal, state, local government level.


The gradual improvement of welfare and socio-economic condition of a society


The right to vote or right of an individual to vote a candidate in an election.


The organization and administration of the state.


People who play politics, or individuals who engage in political participation actively.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

In this chapter, the study has been objectively examined, highlighted and illustrated the role of electoral commission in enhancing the development of democracy in Nigeria (a case study of Imo state independent electoral commission), it also explored the significance of Imo state independent commission to the development of democracy in Imo state specifically and in Nigeria generally.

This chapter entails the summary, conclusion and vital recommendation made by the researcher as regards to the effectiveness and contributions of Imo state independent electoral commission to the development of democracy in Nigeria.

5.2 Summary Of Findings

Research work on the role of electoral commission enchaining the development of democracy in Nigeria was taking to examine the impact electoral commissions have made at ensuring the survival of democracy in Nigeria.
For peace and stability to reign in a given nation such as Nigeria, the need to install a democracy government through a well organized free and fair election is paramount as to promote the socio-economic and political development of the entire sphere of the nation

5.3 Conclusion

The need to evolve sound electoral principle that can guarantee free and fair election which in turn, enhance the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria cannot be over emphasized

This can only be achieved through standardizing the electoral commission as well as ensure its genuine indecency. This body must be characterized by

  1. Being political natural, as such non-partisan
  2. It must constitute of members of integrity, transparent honest and sound sense of judgment
  3. It must not be under the control of the government in power or any other group.
  4. This body must enjoy a fixed and secured term of office and should not be removed except as a result of abuse of office.
  5. Finally, the salaries of the members of this body should be given to them when due.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings made and the conclusion drawn from the study, the following recommendations are made.

  1. There is need for electoral process for the survival of democracy in Nigeria. Therefore, no leader should emerge in a democratic government in Nigeria without election.
  2. For there to be stability in government there is a need to conduct free and fair election.
  3. It was revealed that the electoral processes as applied in Nigeria do not significantly promote the political interest of the electorates. Thus, electoral processes must be applied to encourage the activities of the ethnic group.
  4. The ways and manner which election have been organized by the electoral commissions in the past have provoked violence which leads to mass destruction of lives and valuable properties which in turn had inhibited the progress of development programmes in the nation. Therefore there should be a change by government to promote electoral process and to discipline any electoral officer who goes contrary to the code of conduct

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