The brand new RECs have been appointed final week by President Bola Tinubu.
Regardless of protests, the Senate on Wednesday confirmed appointment of seven out of 10 newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) for the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC).
These confirmed are Etekamba Umoren (Akwa Ibom) Isah Shaka Ehimeakne (Edo) Oluwatoyin Babalola (Ekiti) Abubakar Ahmed Ma’aji (Gombe) and Shehu Wahab (Kwara)
Others are Mohammed Yelwa (Niger) and Aminu Idris (Nasarawa).
No less than three of them – Messrs Umoren, Shaka and Omoseyindemi – have been discovered to be loyalists of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio introduced affirmation of the nomination of the seven RECs after they have been cleared by a voice vote on the plenary.
They have been screened on the committee of the entire earlier than their affirmation was introduced.
The brand new RECs have been appointed final week by President Bola Tinubu pending their affirmation by the Senate.
The president subsequently wrote the higher chamber on 31 October in search of their affirmation.
They’re to serve for a time period of 5 years every and shall be posted to states apart from their very own.
Bunmi Omoseyindemi (Lagos), Anugbum Onuoha (Rivers) and Isma’ila Kaura Moyi (Zamfara) have been conspicuously absent on the screening.
The explanations for his or her absence weren’t made public.
There was a deliberate protest on the Nationwide Meeting by a coalition of civil society organisations towards nomination of two of the newly appointed electoral commissioners.
The 2 nominees weren’t named earlier than the protest was cancelled by the organisers.
A Coalition of 17 CSOs had petitioned the Senate asking it to not verify Mr Umoren from Akwa Ibom State and Isah Ehimeakne from Edo State.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that at the least two among the many new electoral commissioners could also be card-carrying members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and two others have been additionally discovered to be long-term allies of outstanding politicians serving within the Tinubu administration.
They’re Messrs Umoren, Shaka, Omoseyindemi and Onuoha.
Of the 4, solely Mr Onuoha was not confirmed because of his absence from the Senate on Wednesday.
The opposite three have been confirmed.
Mr Umoren is a member of the APC and a long-time ally of the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.
He served because the Chief of Workers on the Akwa Ibom State Authorities Home when Mr Akpabio ruled the state between 2007 and 2014.
Mr Akpabio additionally nominated him to function the Secretary to the State Authorities (SSG) below his successor, Udom Emmanuel, then an ally of Mr Akpabio. Mr Umoren was solely sacked in 2018 following a fallout between Messrs Akpabio and Emmanuel, which additionally led to the elimination of different key allies within the state government council.
In August 2018, throughout a welcome rally for Mr Akpabio in Uyo, Mr Umoren and different sacked members of Mr Emmanuel’s state government council embraced the All Progressives Congress (APC).
One other open supporter of Mr Tinubu and the APC is the nominee for Edo State REC, Mr Shaka.
PREMIUM TIMES reviewed Mr Shaka’s digital footprint and located a number of social media posts earlier than, throughout and after the 2023 normal elections that confirmed his bias in the direction of Mr Tinubu and his occasion, the APC.
In one in all such posts reviewed by this newspaper, Mr Shaka took to social media to listing causes different Nigerians ought to help Mr Tinubu identical to he was doing.
In one other submit just a few days earlier than the presidential election that was held on 25 February, Mr Shaka showered praises on Mr Tinubu on his Fb web page.
The Lagos REC nominee, Bunmi Omoseyindemi, had loved political patronage from Mr Tinubu and his allies since 2001. He was appointed chairman of the Lagos State Conventional Drugs Board in 2001 when Mr Tinubu ruled the state, a place he held till 2015.
In 2016, he was appointed an electoral commissioner within the Lagos State Unbiased Electoral Fee (LASIEC) by the then-governor Akinwunmi Ambode who was additionally an ally of Mr Tinubu on the time.
Their appointment is opposite to the supply of the Nigerian structure.
The Third schedule of the 1999 structure prohibits the appointment of a partisan individual into INEC.
“There shall be for every State of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a Resident Electoral Commissioner who shall be an individual of unquestionable integrity and shall not be a member of any political occasion,” part 14, 3(b) states.
Throughout the screening, the seven electoral commissioners didn’t reply to any query.
They solely launched themselves and spoke on their academic and profession backgrounds one after the opposite.
Most of the senators who made feedback throughout the screening requested that the nominees ought to ‘take a bow and go’
The lawmakers who recommended Mr Tinubu for nominating the commissioners, claimed that the nominees have been able to endeavor the duty.