The Nomination of Residential Electoral Commissioner by Buhari: The Position of the Law

Controversy has trailed the recent nomination of Residential Electoral Commissioner (REC) by the President into the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). According to one of the civil societies whose members alleged that Muhammad Bashir, the nominee from Sokoto State, was a governorship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 elections cycle.Sylvia Agu, the nominee for Enugu State, is believed to be the younger sister of the APC Deputy National Chairman, South-east.

Queen-Elizabeth Agwu, a former Accountant-General in Ebonyi State, was suspended allegedly on the grounds of incompetence and corruption in 2016.

Amidst this controversy, it is pertinent  to consider the provision of the constitution that empowers the president to make such appointment. Section 154, 155 and 156 empowers the president to appoint REC however subject to the confirmation of the Senate. With few months to the 2023 General Election, the president via a letter dated 25th July 2022 wrote to the senate to confirm 19 nominees as Resident Electoral Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).In the said letter, President  Buhari mentioned that the Nomination is in accordance with section 154(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999. The Nomination of Five REC is for renewal while the remaining fourteen are fresh appointments.

The former vice president of the Nigeria Bar Association,Dr Monday Ubani, threatened to sue the president and the Senate if they do not turn down the request of the President.

However, following the lettering of the Constitution which gives  power to the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to appoint members of the INEC subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

Consequently, the propriety or otherwise of the appointments can be determined by the interpretation of the relevant laws and establishment of facts for the disqualification.




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