Two civil society organisations – Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT – and 34 concerned Nigerians, have dragged President Bola Tinubu before the Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly appointing four persons suspected to be members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
SERAP is asking the court for an order setting aside the nominations and confirmation of the suspected APC members as RECs for INEC, for being unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void and of no effect.
Joined in the suit as Defendants are INEC; the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, for himself and on behalf of the Senate, and Etekamba Umoren; Isah Shaka Ehimeakne; Anugbum Onuoha; and Bunmi Omoseyindemi.
The plaintiffs, in the suit which is yet to be assigned to a Judge, are also seeking an order of mandamus to compel President Tinubu and Senator Akpabio to remove the suspected APC members from the list of nominated RECs for INEC, in line with Section 157 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
They are further urging the court for an order of mandamus to direct and compel the President to appoint qualified Nigerians who are persons of unquestionable integrity and non-partisan to the position of REC for INEC, in line with Paragraph 14 (3)(b)(c), Third Schedule and Section 156 of the Nigerian Constitution.
In an affidavit attached to the suit, the Plaintiffs argued that the status, powers, independence of INEC, and the impartiality with which it acts and is seen to be allowed to act, are fundamental to the integrity of Nigeria’s elections and effectiveness of citizens’ democratic rights.