Concerned groups have brought President Bola Tinubu to court over the selection of Resident Electoral Commissioners for the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).
The lawsuit against President Tinubu was filed on Friday in Lagos at the Federal High Court by the various organizations under the auspices of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, and 34 concerned Nigerians.
Kolawole Oluwadare, the deputy director of SERAP, revealed this in a statement on Sunday.
READ ALSO: Tinubu-appointed INEC RECs are confirmed by the Senate.
The President gave his approval on October 25 for the appointment of 10 new RECs, each serving a five-year term. Despite complaints that some of the appointees were partisan, the Nigerian Senate approved the nominees a week later.
Etekamba Umoren (Akwa Ibom), Isah Shaka Ehimeakne (Edo), Abubakar Ahmed Ma’aji (Gombe), Shehu Wahab (Kwara), Mohammed Yelwi (Niger), and Aminu Idris (Sasarawa) are among those who have confirmed their identities.
However, there were rumors that Umoren, Shaka, and Omoseyindemi, three of the nominees, were All Progressives Congress (APC) supporters.
The Plaintiffs are requesting: “an order setting aside the nomination, confirmation, and appointment of the alleged APC members as RECs for INEC, for being unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void and of no effect,” in the FHC/L/CS/2353/2023 lawsuit.
The plaintiffs argued that the integrity of Nigeria’s elections and the efficacy of citizens’ democratic rights depend on the status, powers, independence, and impartiality with which INEC acts and is perceived to act.
The primary guarantor of the electoral process’s integrity and purity should be IEC. The constitutional duties of President Tinubu and the Senate are to ensure that INEC top officials are nominated and confirmed with apparent independence and impartiality.
Elections’ credibility and legitimacy largely depend on the impartiality and independence of those chosen to oversee them. The democratic rights of Nigerians would be meaningless without an impartial and independent INEC.
President Tinubu and Mr. Godswill Akpabio are required to act in accordance with their oath of office and the letter and spirit of the Nigerian Constitution 1999, as amended, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Kolawole Oluwadare and Andrew Nwankwo.
It is contrary to constitutional, international standards, and the idea of the rule of law to treat INEC as a line department answerable to bureaucratic higher-ups and high-ranking politicians rather than as an independent and impartial body.
“The use of the word “non-partisan” means that those to be appointed to conduct credible elections must not openly identify as members of a political party, whose occupation is politics, or who are thought to have political biases by regular Nigerians.”
Source: Channels TV