The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT and thirty-four concerned Nigerians have filed a lawsuit against President Bola Tinubu over “the appointment of four members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and allies of high-ranking politicians as new Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).”
Recall that the Senate had recently confirmed the appointment of seven out of 10 newly appointed RECs for INEC.
The alleged APC members appointed as RECs include those from Lagos, Rivers, Edo and Akwa Ibom States.
However, in the suit number FHC/L/CS/2353/2023 filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos last Friday, the plaintiffs are seeking: “an order setting aside the nomination, confirmation and appointment of the alleged APC members as RECs for INEC, for being unconstitutional, unlawful, null, void and of no effect.”
They are also seeking an order of mandamus to compel Tinubu and Senate President Godswill Akpabio to remove the alleged APC members as RECs for INEC, in line with Section 157 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended].
The plaintiffs are arguing 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.”
The suit was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs by their lawyers, Kolawole Oluwadare and Andrew Nwankwo.
Joined in the suit as defendants are INEC, Akpabio, for himself and on behalf of the Senate, and Messrs Etekamba Umoren; Isah Shaka Ehimeakne, Anugbum Onuoha and Bunmi Omoseyindemi.
However, a date for the hearing of the suit is yet to be fixed.