INEC: Falana advises Buhari to be gender inclusive and investigate REC nominees

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Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has requested that President Muhammadu Buhari withdraw the nominees for Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sent to the Senate.

The Herald recalls that President Buhari had asked the Senate in July to confirm 19 nominees for INEC RECs.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) protested the list, claiming that some nominees are partisan and have “questionable character.”

Falana said in a statement on Sunday that Buhari is required by section 154(3) of the constitution to consult the council of state before submitting names of nominees.

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He also stated that the nominees must be investigated by relevant security agencies prior to confirmation.

Constitution

“Since 2015, President Buhari had consulted the council of state whenever he wanted to appoint the Chairman and members of the Independent National Electoral Commission including Resident Electoral Commissioners in strict compliance with the provisions of Section 154(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999,” the statement reads.

“On each occasion, the president consulted the council of state before submitting the names of nominees to the senate for confirmation in line with Section 154(1) of the Constitution.

“But for some undisclosed reasons, the president has forwarded the nominations of 14 persons for confirmation as resident electoral commissioners without any prior consultation with the council of state.

“Apart from the constitutional infraction, the list of the nominees has been challenged on the ground that some of them are card-carrying members of the ruling party.

Investigation

At least two other nominees are alleged to be under investigation for serious electoral malpractice.

Instead of subjecting the nominees to integrity tests, the federal government has dismissed such grave allegations with a wave of the hand.

“Having repeatedly assured the Nigerian people that the administrators will support INEC to conduct credible elections in 2023 we call on President Buhari to withdraw the controversial list from the Senate and ensure that the nominees are investigated by relevant security agencies.

“After security clearance, the president is advised to comply with section 154(3) of the Constitution by consulting the council of state with respect to the qualification and competence of the nominees.

Gender inclusive

It is after the consultation that the names of the nominees that are qualified should be presented to the Senate for confirmation.”

 

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