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Student Village Academy Forums VILLAGE POLITICS AND CURRENT AFFAIRS SERAP, BudgIT, 34 Others Sue Tinubu ‘for Appointing APC Loyalists as INEC RECs’

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      The Social-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, and 34 other accountability groups have collectively initiated legal proceedings against the appointment of four purported members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as senior officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Bola Tinubu.

      As per a statement released by the public accountability groups and disclosed to FIJ on Sunday, the case has been assigned the number FHC/L/CS/2353/2023 by the Federal High Court in Lagos State on Friday, although a hearing date has yet to be scheduled.

      The plaintiffs are contesting the alleged political bias of four out of the 10 nominees recently submitted by the president to the Senate for confirmation as resident electoral commissioners of INEC. The individuals in question are Etekamba Umoren (Akwa Ibom), Isah Shaka Ehimeakne (Edo), Anugbum Onuoha (Rivers), and Bunmi Omoseyindemi (Lagos).

      Among the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are “an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu and Senate President Mr. Godswill Akpabio to remove the alleged APC members as RECs for INEC, in line with Section 157 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended),” and “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Tinubu to appoint qualified Nigerians who are persons of unquestionable integrity and non-members of a political party or loyalists to the positions of RECs for INEC, in line with paragraph 14(3)(b)(c), Third Schedule and Section 156 of the Nigerian Constitution.”

      They contend that the independence of INEC is crucial to the conduct of free and fair elections and democracy in the country. The group emphasized, “The credibility and legitimacy of elections depend mostly on the independence and impartiality of those appointed to manage the process. Without an independent and impartial INEC, the democratic rights of Nigerians would remain illusory.”

      The defendants in the lawsuit include INEC, Akpabio (representing himself and on behalf of the Senate), Umoren, Ehimeakne, Onuoha, and Omoseyindemi.

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