Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to compromise the 2023 general elections with his controversial list of nominees to serve as INEC members and commissioners. He accused Mr Buhari of circumventing the constitution by failing to consult the Council of State before submitting a list of nominees to the senate.
Mr Buhari had, on July 26, forwarded the names of 19 nominees as REC into INEC to the National Assembly for confirmation. Out of the 19 nominees, he reappointed five, while 14 others were new appointees. But this came as Mr Buhari faced heavy criticism for nominating individuals alleged to be APC card-carrying members.
“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,” Mr Falana pointed attention in a statement.
He added, “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.”
Mr Falana noted that at least two other nominees “are alleged to be under investigation for serious electoral malpractice,” wondering that instead of subjecting the nominees to “integrity tests,” the Buhari regime “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,” Mr Falana declared.
He further explained that 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.”
Mr Falana stressed that it “is after the consultation that the names of the nominees that are qualified should be presented to the Senate for confirmation.”
The human rights lawyer also called on Mr Buhari to ensure gender balance by keeping to the 35 per cent affirmative action for women in the list of nominees, citing a federal high court ruling of April 10 in the case of “Women Empowerment and Legal Aid and Legal Aid & Ors v Attorney-General of the Federation (Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/ 2021).”
Burial Ceremony of Former Anambra Governor, Mbadinuju
The late Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju, a former governor of Anambra State, has been finally laid to rest in his country home, Uli, Ihiala Local Government Area of the State.
The burial marks the conclusion of a three-day-long state funeral for the first Executive Governor of Anambra State in the Fourth Republic.
The burial ceremony was preceded by an inter-denominational burial service held in honor of the former governor.
Dr. Mbadinuju passed away on April 11 at the age of 78.
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NNPP petitions IG, DSS boss over alleged threats to chieftains lives
Leaders of the New Nigeria People’s Party have asked the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to look into claims that certain NNPP chieftains’ lives and property are being threatened.
The NNPP also urged the security chiefs to provide adequate protection around the party’s national headquarters and leaders.
This is even as the party described the information at their disposal as plans by some people under the tag of “unknown gunmen” to launch an assault on the party’s national secretariat while simultaneously designating some party leaders for removal.
The party’s position was contained in two separate pleas to the security chiefs, signed by the National Chairman of the party, Abba Ali, titled “Threat to Lives of Some NNPP Leaders: Request for Action and Protection of Lives and Property,” on Friday.
Ali noted, “We wish to use this medium to inform your good office of reports of threat to lives and property of some leaders of our great party, the New Nigeria People’s Party.
“According to information at our disposal, there are plans by some people under the tag of ‘unknown gunmen’ to attack the national secretariat of our party while, at the same time, some leaders of the party have been marked down for elimination.
“We are using this medium to request a thorough investigation into this report and also adequate protection around our national headquarters and leaders of the party.”
The chairman further said that the party is peaceful and has never employed or deployed violence to press home its demand.
“We therefore urge you, sir to look into this our request urgently. While awaiting your quick response sir, please be assured of our esteemed regards,” he said.
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