The success of any election depends on efficient planning and its conduct, i.e. accreditation, voting, counting, collation and results declaration.
Collation is the tabulation or summation of votes cast at an election while results declaration is the final step in the elections. It is the official announcement of election results by the electoral administrators.
For the Collation and Declaration of Presidential Election Result at the National Level,
- Presiding Officers send results of poll to the RA/Ward Collation Officer;
- RA/Ward CO collates results and sends to LGA Collation Officer;
- LGA Collation Officer shall collate results and send to State Collation Officer;
- State Collation Officer collates results and sends to the Chief Electoral Commissioner (Chairman INEC);
- The Chief Electoral Commissioner (Chief Returning Officer) collates results from the State Collation Officers, declares the result and returns the winner as President elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A candidate for a contested election to the office of president shall be declared winner if he or she has:
- The highest number of votes cast at the election; and
- Not less than one-quarter of votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all States in the Federation and the FCT, Abuja.
Note: Where two or more candidates score an equal number of votes being the highest in an election, the Returning Officer shall not return any of the candidates and a fresh election shall be held for the candidates on a date to be appointed by the Commission (Section 69 of Electoral Act 2010 as amended).
Where no candidate gets the required spread, the Commission shall within seven (7) days of the result of the election arrange for another election between the candidate who scored the highest number of votes at the election and one among the remaining candidates who has a majority of votes in the highest number of States. Where there is more than one candidate with a majority of votes in the highest number of States, the candidate with the highest total of votes cast at the election shall be the second candidate for the election.
A candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of president if he has a majority of the votes cast at the election. Section 133 (3)(4) of the 1999 Constitution.