In Nigeria, the Senate plays a crucial role in the presidential elections, as outlined in both the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act. The Senate is the upper chamber of the Nigerian National Assembly and is responsible for passing legislation, conducting investigations, and providing checks and balances to the executive branch of government.
According to the Nigerian Constitution, the Senate is responsible for approving the nomination of presidential candidates. Section 137(1j) of the Constitution states that "a person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)."
The Senate, therefore, plays a critical role in vetting the qualifications of presidential candidates to ensure that they meet the constitutional requirements for the office.
The Senate also has the power to confirm the appointment of the chairman and members of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which is responsible for conducting presidential elections.
Section 154(1) of the Constitution states that "the appointment of the Chairman and members of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate."
The Senate’s confirmation of INEC’s leadership is critical to ensuring that the presidential elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.
Furthermore, the Senate has the power to ratify international treaties, agreements, and conventions that relate to the conduct of presidential elections.
Section 12(1) of the Constitution states that "no treaty between the Federation and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which such a treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly."
The Senate, therefore, must approve any international agreement that may affect the conduct of presidential elections in Nigeria.
The Electoral Act also outlines the role of the Senate in presidential elections. The Act requires that the Senate President, or another senator designated by the Senate, must notify INEC of any vacancy that arises in the office of the president or vice president.
Section 146(2) of the Constitution states that "where the office of the Vice President becomes empty because of death, resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity, or the removal of the Vice President from office, the President shall nominate and the Senate shall confirm another Vice President."
The Senate’s role in the presidential election process is essential to maintaining the integrity of Nigeria’s democracy.
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