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Nigeria creates election tribunal ahead of April elections

[JURIST] Nigerian officials announced Tuesday the creation of an election tribunal to preside over disputes and complaints arising from the nation's general elections to be held in April 2007 [BBC report]. As Idris Kutigi, chief justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court [official website] swore in judges to serve on the tribunal, he warned them against taking bribes from politicians to influence their rulings. Governorship and state assembly elections in Nigeria [JURIST news archive] will be held on April 14; the presidential and national assembly elections will be held a week later on April 21. AFP has more.

In early February, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [official website] of Nigeria released an advisory list [press release] of 135 Nigerian politicians considered to be too corrupt to hold office [JURIST report], including Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official website], who has left the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) [BBC backgrounder] to run for the presidential ticket. Abubakar, however, is now being investigated on corruption charges [JURIST report]. If convicted, he would be precluded from running for the Nigerian presidency. A failed attempt [JURIST report] by Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile] to amend the constitution to run for a third term could mean a smooth election and a peaceful, democratic handover of power for the first time in Nigeria since independence in 1960.

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