The 1999 Constitution provides the requirements necessary for an individual to be able to run for the Office of a Member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria. These are briefly discussed below:
Citizenship – The first and most important is that the individual must be a citizen of Nigeria in order to be a Member of the House of Representatives. Linked to this is that if the individual has acquired the citizenship of another country, then (s)he will not be able to run for the office of Senate.
Age – In order to be eligible for contesting an election for Senate, the individual must be at least 25 years of age.
Education – any individual who wishes to run for the office of Member of the House of Representatives in any constituency in Nigeria must be educated up to at least School Certificate level, that means all Members of the House of Representatives must have completed at least secondary school education.
Political party – In order to run for office of Member of the House of Representatives, the individual must also be a member of a registered political party and sponsored by that political party to contest in the elections. The Nigerian Constitution and does not allow candidates to run as ‘independents’.
Employment – Any individual who is employed in the public service of the Federation or of any State and wants to run for Senate must resign the employment at least 30 days before the date of election;
Mental Health – Any individual who has been adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind cannot run for the office of Member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria.
Criminal Convictions – Also, individuals who have been sentenced to death or have been sentenced to imprisonment or a fine for an offence involving dishonesty or fraud are not eligible for election to this post. In addition, if within a period of less than 10 years before the date of an election to the Senate, the individual has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of a contravention of the Code of Conduct, the person is also disqualified from being a Member of the House of Representatives.
Financial Status – Any individual who is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of Nigeria is not allowed to run for the position of Member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria.
Criminal Indictment – Individuals who have been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Governments respectively are disqualified from being Member of the House of Representatives.
Finally, individuals who are members of secret societies or have presented forged certificates to the Independence National Electoral Commission will be disqualified as Member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria.
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