A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State chapter, has faulted the appointment of Etekamba Umoren, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying it goes against the provisions of the country’s constitution.
Franklyn Isong, who is the Director General of Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN) on behalf of other groups said the appointment of Umoren, “a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressive Congress,” could mar the conduct of future elections if not reversed immediately.
“Etekamba Umoren is a card carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State who had also campaigned for the APC during the elections.
“The appointment of Etekamba Umoren will further undermine citizens’ confidence in INEC and increase mistrust in the commission.
“The appointment will also jeopardise the trust of other political parties in the commission.”
Isong, who was addressing a press conference in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, urged President Bola Tinubu to withdraw the appointment, stressing that the nominee did not meet the constitutional requirement for such an office.
“We collectively demand that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the public interest should withdraw the appointment of Mr. Etekamba Umoren as a Resident Electoral Commissioner in INEC from Akwa Ibom State.
“Etekamba Umoren does not meet the constitutional requirements of being non-partisan as defined by Section 156(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be appointed as an INEC Commissioner.
“Etekamba Umoren is not only a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress but, an active politician who had held several political appointments including as the Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), before he defected to the ruling APC in Akwa Ibom State on the 8th of August, 2018,” the groups said.
Other groups have already voiced their concerns about the appointment rejecting it as not being in sync with the country’s constitution.