Regulatory Environment and Media Coverage of Elections in Nigeria: A Review

Ezinwa, Chidi A, Ekwe, Okwudiri, Chiaha, Chukwuemeka


The legal environment under which an election takes place, no doubt, plays a crucial role in determining the extent to which the election would be adjudged free, fair and credible. The 2011 general elections in Nigeria were widely acclaimed to be free, fair and credible both locally and internationally. This work, therefore, set out to ascertain the veracity of this claim by examining the legal atmosphere under which the elections were conducted. The review showed that the legal environment was adequate enough to guarantee a free, fair and credible elections. However, it was discovered that most of these legal provisions were not complied with and the offenders were not brought to justice by the relevant bodies such as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON). With regards to the ‘equal opportunity doctrine’ as contained in the Electoral Act, the ruling party at various level of government, dominated the airwaves giving the opposition party very limited opportunity to be heard. It was also observed that the law on campaign funding was not observed. The ruling party spent far above the provisions permitted by law. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend that the regulatory environment in Nigeria should be strengthened by ensuring that the provisions of the Electoral Act and other election related laws are adhered to by all concerned and enforced by the relevant regulatory bodies.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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