Under the aegis of the National Coalition on Improved Service Delivery (NACOISED), civil society organizations in Nigeria have enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently appoint the recently cleared Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) nominees.
This, they said, is imperative to fill the existing vacuum created due to their non-engagement.
The National Leader of the group, Prince Chris Azor made this statement in Awka, Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, saying it’s long overdue.
“As we steadily approach the general elections, there is a need to fill the void created by the absence of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in various states of the Federation. The RECs play a vital role in conducting electoral activities at the sub-national level. Their absence has become worrisome and a cog in the wheel of the electoral process. RECs catalyse the functions of INEC as SMOU. “That is to supervise, monitor, organize, and undertake the electoral process,” Chris Azor said.
It would be recalled that the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan at the plenary session of Tuesday, July 26, 2022, notified lawmakers of the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the Senate’s confirmation of the nominees for appointment as RECs of INEC.
The Senate following the consideration of the report of its Committee on INEC after a screening exercise approved nineteen (19) persons for appointment as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
The Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC: Kano), while presenting reports of the Committee at the plenary session on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, explained that the confirmation of the nominees was in line with section 154 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that: “Except in the case of ex-officio members or where other provisions are made in this Constitution, the Chairman and members of any of the bodies so established shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be appointed by the President and the appointments shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate”.
Senator Gaya mentioned that the nominees appeared before the Committee on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, for the screening exercise and responded to questions pertaining to their personal background, educational qualifications, work experiences, and the petitions submitted by civil society organizations (CSOs) against 4 nominees.
According to Senator Gaya, he informed lawmakers that the appointments of five out of the 19 nominees were for a renewed term of four years while the other fourteen were new appointments and that upon careful scrutiny of all relevant documents belonging to the nominees, the Committee was satisfied with the qualifications, experience, and suitability of the 19 nominees.