President Bola Tinubu has been dragged to court over the appointment of Resident Electoral Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by some concerned groups. The various groups under the aegis of the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT and 34 concerned Nigerians filed the lawsuit against President Tinubu.
This was disclosed in a statement by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, saying the suit was filed last Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos. On October 25, the President approved the appointment of 10 new RECs for the electoral body for a term of five years each. A week later, the nominees were screened by the Nigerian Senate despite the outcry that some of the appointees were partisan.
Those confirmed are Etekamba Umoren (Akwa Ibom) Isah Shaka Ehimeakne (Edo) Oluwatoyin Babalola (Ekiti) Abubakar Ahmed Ma’aji (Gombe), Shehu Wahab (Kwara), Mohammed Yelwa (Niger) and Aminu Idris (Nasarawa). However, there were reports that three of the nominees – Umoren, Shaka and Omoseyindemi – were said to be loyalists of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the suit number FHC/L/CS/2353/2023, the Plaintiffs are seeking: “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.”
“The status, powers, independence of INEC, and the impartiality with which it acts and is seen to be allowed to act are fundamental to the integrity of Nigeria’s elections and effectiveness of citizens’ democratic rights,” the plaintiffs argued.