Nigeria's Buhari approves amended election law

Friday February 25 2022
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. PHOTO | AFP


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday approved an amended electoral law that will introduce electronic vote transfer during the 2023 presidential elections.

Ballots in Nigeria have, at times, been marred by electoral fraud claims and court challenges since the country returned to civilian rule in 1999.

Buhari, who was first elected in 2015, had initially rejected the new law over its inclusion of primaries to choose candidates, claiming it would infringe on party bylaws and lead to insecurity during the polls.

"There are salient and praiseworthy provisions that could positively revolutionise elections in Nigeria through the introduction of new technological innovations," Buhari said during the signing of the bill.

"These innovations would guarantee the constitutional rights of citizens to vote and to do so effectively."

He asked the national assembly to delete one provision in the law which would have barred political appointees from running in elections.


Buhari, a former military ruler, will step down after serving two four-year terms, and political leaders are already manoeuvring for position before the February 2023 ballot.

No clear candidate has yet emerged to replace Buhari, but the ruling APC party already has several hopefuls, including influential former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu.  

The country's independent electoral commission came under fire after Buhari's re-election in 2019 over claims the ballot was not free or transparent.