The Chair of the Alliance on Surviving Covid-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Femi Falana (SAN) has said that it is illegal for a member of a registered political party to be appointed a Resident Electoral Commissioner in Nigeria.
The organisation, therefore, described four nominations out of the 10 Resident Electoral Commissioners nominated by President Bola Tinubu last week as illegal.
In a statement issued on Sunday, ASCAB Nigeria cannot afford to have its electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission constituted by partisans and loyalists of the ruling party and its collaborators.
The organisation threatened to challenge the nominations in court should the nominees be confirmed by the Senate.
It said, “By the combined effect of section 154(1) of the Constitution and Paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution, there shall be for each State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a Resident Electoral Commissioner who shall –be appointed by the President and shall not less than forty years of age.
“In addition, the person shall be of unquestionable integrity and non partisan. Thus, in order to guarantee the credibility of elections, persons who are loyal to any of the registered political parties shall not be appointed as INEC Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioners.
“However, we have confirmed that 4 out of 10 persons nominated as Resident Electoral Commissioners last week by President Bola Tinubu are Constitutionally disabled. Specifically 4 of them are members and close allies of the All Progressives Congress while another member has just relinquished the post of a Special Adviser to a former Governor elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
“The conduct of the 2027 General Elections must be transparent in every material particular. Therefore, the nation cannot afford to have the Independent National Electoral Commission constituted by card carrying members and loyalists of the ruling party and its collaborators.
“To that extent, the appointment of the 4 nominees will be challenged at the Federal High Court if the Senate decides to confirm them in defiance of extant constitutional provisions.”