spot_img
HomeLocal NewsPoliticsBuhari’s nominations to INEC impeached; portend grave harm to...

Buhari’s nominations to INEC impeached; portend grave harm to INEC’s integrity, CSOs charge; make cocktail of demands

Ahmad Lawan, President of the Nigerian Senate: Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, had on 26 July transmitted a letter to the Senate seeking confirmation of 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners.

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, had on 26 July transmitted a letter to the Senate seeking confirmation of 19 Resident Electoral Commissioners.

At least four of the 19 nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, either belong to a political party or have been previously indicted for corruption.

This was revealed in an analysis by a coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs).

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr Buhari on 26 July, wrote to the Senate nominating the 19 RECs. He also sought the upper chamber’s confirmation of the nominees.

Of the 19 nominees, five were reappointed for a second and final term of five years while 14 others had new appointments.

The five nominees reappointed are Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa), Obo Effanga (Cross River), Umar Ibrahim (Taraba), Agboke Olaleke (Ogun), and Samuel Egwu (Kogi).

The other 14 nominees are Onyeka Ugochi (Imo), Muhammad Bashir (Sokoto), Ayobami Salami (Oyo), Zango Abdu (Katsina), Queen Elizabeth Agwu (Ebonyi), and Agundu Tersoo (Benue).

At least four of the 19 nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, either belong to a political party or have been previously indicted for corruption.

Others are: Yomere Oritsemlebi (Delta), Yahaya Ibrahim (Kaduna), Nura Ali (Kano), Agu Uchenna (Enugu), Ahmed Garki (FCT), and Hudu Yunusa (Bauchi).

In a press conference on Friday, the CSOs faulted some of the nominees for being partisan and of questionable past.

In his address, Lanre Arogundade, the Director, International Press Centre, said Muhammad Bashir, the nominee from Sokoto State, was a governorship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 elections cycle.

Sylvia Agu, the nominee for Enugu State, he said, is believed to be the younger sister of the APC Deputy National Chairman, South-east.

The nominee for Imo State, Pauline Onyeka, who is a former Head of ICT at INEC in Imo state, gained notoriety for alleged corruption and connivance with politicians to undermine elections.

He said Queen-Elizabeth Agwu, a former Accountant-General in Ebonyi State, was suspended allegedly on the grounds of incompetence and corruption in 2016.

The appointments, he noted, have grave implications for the credibility, independence and capacity of INEC to deliver credible, transparent, inclusive and conclusive elections.

Mr Arogundade also said their appointments will significantly undermine the neutrality and impartiality of the Commission and will increase mistrust in Nigeria’s electoral process.

“By the combined effect of Section 156(1(a) and Third Schedule, Part 1, Item F, paragraph 14(1), these individuals are constitutionally prohibited from any appointment as members of INEC.

“It will be against the sacred spirit of the Constitution to accept their nomination. Given their antecedent and close affinity with political parties, it is improbable that they will remain neutral and objective if successfully screened as INEC REC.”

Minimum Offer Bond (MOB) – convention to bind campaign promises with actionable social compacts with voters: The nomination comes months after the controversial appointment of Lauretta Onochie who is a presidential aide, card-carrying member of the APC and was appointed as an INEC national commissioner.

The nomination comes months after the controversial appointment of Lauretta Onochie who is a presidential aide, card-carrying member of the APC and was appointed as an INEC national commissioner.

Although Ms Onochie denied being a member of the APC, her appointment was rejected by the Senate.

Another member of the group, Jake Epelle of the Albino Foundation, worried that the appointments did not reflect the principles of non-discrimination and inclusivity – with regard to Persons with Disability (PWDs).

He stressed that the appointment of PWDs would provide the pulse required to give effect to the provisions of the Discrimination Against Persons Living with Disabilities Act, 2018, and other legislations and guiding principles in that regard.

The CSOs called on the Senate to reject the nominees that fall short of the threshold of non-partisanship and impeccable character.

“In making nominations into INEC, President Buhari should be guided by the judgment of the Federal High Court on affirmative action wherein the court directed that all appointments must comply with the 35% affirmative action for women.

“In the same vein, the President should ensure the representation of Persons with disability (PWDs) and young people in the appointments,” the CSOs said.

The signing organisations are Yiaga Africa, International Press Center, Center for Media and Society, the Albino Foundation, Elect Her and Nigerian Women Trust Fund.

- Advertisement -

spot_img

Worldwide News, Local News in Nigeria, Tips & Tricks

spot_img

- Advertisement -

%d bloggers like this: