The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has expressed concern over the delay in confirmation of INEC Resident Electoral Commission (REC) nominees by the Senate.
Situation Room, a coalition of over 70 civil society organisations in Nigeria, wondered why the confirmation of the 27 nominees would be with the upper legislative chamber for six weeks, with the 2019 general elections fast approaching.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed February 16, 2019 for the polls.
A statement by Clement Nwankwo, convener of Situation Room, in Abuja, called on the Senate to urgently confirm the 27 nominees submitted by the Presidency since March 23, 2017.
“Resident Electoral Commissioners are critical elements of election management at the State level and implement processes related to election conduct such as voter registration, mobilization and participation, as well as political party monitoring and regulation.
“There is an important need for the confirmed RECs to resume duty immediately and come up to speed with preparations for the 2019 general elections,” the statement reads in part.
On Tuesday, Senate President Bukola Saraki referred the screening of the nominees to the Senate Committee on INEC and report back in two weeks.
The statement called on the committee to expedite action on the confirmation.
The nominees to be screened include: Godswill Obioma (Abia), Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa), Ahmad Makama (Bauchi), James Apam (Benue), Mike Igini (Delta), Nkwachukwu Orji (Ebonyi), Illoh Joseph Chuks (Enugu), Hussaini Halilu Pai (FCT), Sadiq Abubakar Musa (Kaduna), Jibrin Ibrahim Zarewa (Kano), Asmau Sani Maikudi (Katsina).
Others are: Mahmuda Isah (Kebbi), Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Rufus Akeju (Lagos), Mustapha Zubairu (Niger), Agboke Mutiu Olaleke (Ogun), Sam Olugbadebo Olumekun (Ondo), AbdulGaniyu Olayinka Taju (Oyo), Riskuwa Shehu (Sokoto), Kasim Gana Geidam (Yobe), Ahmad Bello Mahmud (Zamfara), Nentawe Goshwe Yilwatda (Plateau), Umar Ibrahim (Taraba), Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu (Anambra), Emeka Ononamadu Joseph (Imo), Obo Effanga (Cross River) and Briyai Frankland (Baylesa).
The Senate had on March 28, 2017, suspended the screening and confirmation of the 27 RECs sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari as a result of the failure of the President to remove the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
However, it rescinded its decision on Tuesday May 2, even as Senate President explained that this was done in the interest of the nation.