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INEC: GROUP FLAYS APPOINTMENT OF ACTING CHAIRMAN

By NBF News
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The Alliance for the Conduct of Free and Fair Elections in Nigeria (ACFEN) has challenged the constitutional rights in the appointment of Solomon Soyebi as acting chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Director of Public Affairs of the group, Martins Oluwole, said in an interview that members of ACFEN and other pressure groups had concluded a protest this week to demand for the immediate removal of the acting chairman of INEC.

Citing section 153-sub-section (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the appointment of chairmen into commissions and councils, the group noted that the appointment of Soyebi was against the letters of the Constitution.

The section reads: 'In exercising his powers to appoint a person as chairman or member of the Independent National Electoral Commission, National Judicial Council, National Population Commission, the President shall upon a meeting with the Council of states confirm such appointment'.

'Sub-Section (1) states that the Chairman and members of any of the bodies so established shall, subject to the provisions of this constitution, be appointed by the President and the appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

In the appointment of the acting chairman for INEC, ACFEN said that it fell short of the conditions provided by the constitution, hence the group insisted that the acting chairman must be removed for the appointment of a substantive chairman for the commission by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Before his appointment as acting chairman, he was INEC commissioner in charge of operations, where allegations of late delivery of election materials was the practice. The group insisted that all serving commissioners of INEC be relieved of their duties if the 2011 general elections are to be credible and fair as promised by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The protest match scheduled to hold on Thursday, he noted, would kick off from the federal secretariat, to the National Assembly and end up at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.