Gafar Idowu AYODEJI, LL.B, Ph.D
Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science,
Tai Solarin University of Education,
Ijagun, Ogun State.
Tel: +234 8033376829
The paper examined the extent to which election observers can prevent electoral corruption and ensure transparency in subsequent elections in Nigeria. It adopted a descriptive method and made use of data gathered through secondary sources. The paper observed that election observation is crucial to the electoral process because it enhances public confidence and contributes to the integrity of the elections and more importantly has the potential of preventing and exposing irregularities and fraud. It contended that election observation has become generally recognized globally and plays a vital role in offering accurate and transparent assessments concerning the nature of electoral processes. The findings, however, indicate that electoral corruption has featured significantly in the 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 General Elections in Nigeria making electoral observation to have marginal effect on the conduct or outcomes of these elections. This was because most of the major electoral corruption or manipulations that occurred were perpetrated either out of sight of the observers or in their presence due to their compromised positions. Hence, there has been a converse connection between election observation and sanctity of the Fourth Republic past elections. The paper submitted that there should be adequate coverage of election processes by subsequent election observers in terms of thorough involvement in pre-electoral processes; depoliticised, impartial, professional, independent assessment of elections and recommendations; while effective post-election engagement, beaming searchlight and exposing potential election corruption spot should be their focus to improve election quality and prevent future electoral corruption.