20th July, 2011
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC on Wednesday denied reports that its Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega has removed some of the Commissionâ€™s Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECS. The Commission also affirmed that it is in no legal position to sack RECs.
This was in response to publications in the media that the Chairman of the electoral commission ordered 13 RECs of the Commission to vacate office because their tenure of office have expired at a staff retreat in Uyo.
It was also indicated in the reports that INEC will organize a dinner for the 13 RECs.
But INEC described the report as false in a press release by Kayode Idowu, spokesperson to the Chairman of the Commission this afternoon.
According to the Commission, â€œThe true position is that the 13 RECs in question have formally served out their 5-year terms and the Commission used the occasion of the post-election Retreat just concluded with them in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, to treat them to a farewell dinner on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.
The Commission listed the RECs whose tenures officially expired as those who served in Benue, Taraba, Kebbi, Kogi, Ebonyi, Enugu and Gombe states. The others are those in Oyo, Abia, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi and Ogun States.
The Commission also said the RECs can also be re-appointed and that the dinner is to appreciate their services for the five years they have served INEC.
â€œThe Hon. Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, did make it clear that the farewell dinner was without prejudice to the possibility of their being returned by the appointing authorities for further terms.
â€œIt should be noted that the RECs have served with exceptional diligence and integrity, and it was in view of this that the Commission deemed them deserving of a farewell dinner, irrespective of whether or not they would return for further terms,â€, INEC added.
By Oluokun Ayorinde