CSOs Kick Against Appointment of Etekamba Umoren as INEC REC Designate

CSOs Kick Against Appointment of Etekamba Umoren as INEC REC Designate

Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in Akwa Ibom State has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to withdraw the nomination of Mr Etekamba Umoren of the state as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) designate of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).

 

Umoren who was among the 10 REC designates recently appointed by President Tinubu served as the Chief of Staff to Senator Godswill Akpabio when he was the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

 

Addressing a press conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital on Monday, the Chairman, Centre for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN) Otuekong Franklyn Isong flanked by the CEO of Peoples Rights to Life Development Foundation, Comrade Ifot N. Ifot and the Director of Vital Partners for Development, Dr. Victor David among others noted that Umoren is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and should not be given the position of electoral umpire.

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They noted that Section 156(1)(a) and Third Schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) outrightly disqualifies any person in partisan politics and card-carrying member of a political party from being appointed into INEC as REC.

 

The coalition also noted that Etekamba’s appointment will not only jeopardize the trust of other political parties in the commission but will further undermine citizens’ confidence in INEC.

 

They, therefore, urged the president to appoint Umoren to any other office apart from INEC REC so as not to threaten the confidence and chances of other political parties in the elections.

 

The statement in parts, “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.

 

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Mr. 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.

 

“Mr. 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 Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), before he defected to the ruling APC in Akwa Ibom State on the 8th of August, 2018.

 

“Mr. Umoren had openly declared his membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

“His last political appointment was the Chief of Staff to Senator Godswill Akpabio when Senator Akpabio was the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Ministry.

 

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“The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria demands the immediate withdrawal of Mr. Etekamba Umoren’s appointment as a Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC from Akwa Ibom State by President Bola Tinubu as a matter of urgency.”