How to become a member of the State House of Assembly in Nigeria
In Nigeria, each of the 36 States has its own law-making body known as the State House of Assembly. The primary job of the State House of Assembly is to make laws for the State, however, it is also tasked with the job of considering matters brought forward by the Governor of the State, approving the State budget, and performing general oversight of the actions of the Governor and the Executive, the State House of Assembly plays an essential role in ensuring that there are checks and balances in the governance of the State.
The State House of Assembly is established by Section 90 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and it is endowed with powers to legislate as well as privileges and immunities to enable it to exercise these powers without hindrance. The House of Assembly is made up of members elected to represent their constituencies for a period of four (4) years, and the Constitution provides that each State House of Assembly must have not less than twenty-four (24) and not more than forty (40) members.
Qualification for Membership of a State House of Assembly
An aspirant who wishes to become a member of a State House of Assembly shall be qualified if he/she:
- Is a citizen of Nigeria;
- is at least thirty (30) years old;
- has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent;
- is a member of a political party and is sponsored by the party
Disqualification for Membership of a State House of Assembly
An aspirant who wishes to become a member of a State House of Assembly shall be disqualified if he/she:
- has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or has made a declaration of allegiance to such a country;
- is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;
- is under a death sentence or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for an offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called);
- has within a period of less than ten years before the date of an election to the House of Assembly been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or has been found guilty of a contravention of the Code of Conduct;
- is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in any part of Nigeria;
- is a person employed in the Public service of the Federation or of any State and he has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from such employment thirty days before the date of election;
- is a member of any secret society;
- has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a 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 and State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government, respectively; or
- has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Elections to a House of Assembly are held on dates prescribed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). For the purpose of election into a House of Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) divides every State in the Federation into State Constituencies.
If you are interested in contesting for the position of State House of Assembly you can make enquiries at the Independent National Electoral Commission – http://www.inecnigeria.org/
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We hope you have found this information helpful. Please note that this information is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. No lawyer-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. This answer is not intended to substitute for the advice of a qualified lawyer. If you require legal advice, please consult with a qualified lawyer.