One month after the confirmation of ten Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a former chairman of the commission Professor Attahiru Jega is calling for a review of their appointments.
President Bola Tinubu had nominated them with the Senate confirming their appointments. But the move was marred with controversy as critics accused some of the new appointees of partisan politics.
But Professor Jega, who supervised the 2015 elections, has asked President Tinubu to review the appointments owing to partisan concerns.
“I think there is no doubt that if the President were listening, my advice would be to immediately review the appointment of the Resident Electoral Commissioners that was passed by the Senate recently,” he said on Monday’s edition of Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“It’s very, very important because clearly, not only does it send a wrong signal about the government’s intention to improve the integrity of elections, it also suggests, you know, that there is indifference with regards to protecting the independence and the impartiality of the election management body.”
Jega believes the dust raised by the nomination and confirmation of the RECs may be an indication that Tinubu was not furnished with the necessary details of the nominees.
“I would want to believe that Mr President was either misinformed or is not really furnished with all the necessary details with regards to this appointments,” Jega said on the show.
“So, that is the first recommendation: I will make review those appointments. It’s not too late if it is established that the people who were appointed were very partisan or registered members of political parties contrary to the legal provisions. The right thing should be done and corrections should be made.”
Critics have faulted the Senate for confirmation of some of the RECs and Jega says the lawmakers, going forward have to play a more critical role in the appointment of INEC top shots.
“Secondly, moving into the future, the Senate itself needs to be up and doing. The normal thing when these kinds of recommendations are made is to send it to the committee which would have the time to do a thorough review of the details of all the people that are appointed before it comes to plenary, you know.
“But in this particular case, from everything we have heard or read, it appears that the matter did not go to committee. It just went to the floor of the Senate and they rushed the approval,” Jega maintained.