Femi Falana, a senior advocate for Nigeria (SAN) and human rights lawyer, 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.
Buhari requested that the Senate ratify 19 nominees for INEC RECs in July.
However, the list was challenged by civil society organizations (CSOs) on the grounds that some of the nominees were partisan and of “questionable character.
According to the terms of section 154(3) of the constitution, Buhari is required to contact the council of state before presenting names of nominees, Falana said in a statement on Sunday.
He added that relevant security agencies need to investigate the nominees before confirmation.
“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. 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. It is after the consultation that the names of the nominees that are qualified should be presented to the Senate for confirmation,” he added.
via: Information Nigeria