The 19 Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECs) whose names were forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari were ratified by the Senate on Wednesday.
The nominees who were confirmed are Ibrahim Abdullahi (Adamawa); Obo Effanga (Cross River); Umar Ibrahim (Taraba); Agboke Olaleke (Ogun); Samuel Egwu (Kogi), Onyeka Ugochi (Imo); Muhammad Bashir (Sokoto) and Ayobami Salami from Oyo State.
Others are Zango Abdu (Katsina); Queen Agwu (Ebonyi), Agundu Tersoo (Benue); Yomere Oritsemlebi (Delta); Yahaya Ibrahim, (Kaduna); Nura Ali (Kano); Agu Uchenna (Enugu); Ahmed Garki (FCT); Hudu Yunusa (Bauchi); Uzochukwu Chijioke, (Anambra) and Mohammed Nura (Yobe).
Last week, the candidates were examined behind closed doors by the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, which is headed by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South).
Presenting his report to the Senate, Gaya said, “To determine their suitability for the positions which they were nominated, nominees were asked questions that bothered mostly on partisanship, membership of political parties, and how they hoped to improve the electoral process if and when their nominations for appointments are confirmed.”
The nominees, according to Gaya, assured the committee of their impartiality and stated that they were not members of any political parties. They also pledged to carry out their duties diligently and in accordance with the established laws.
He claimed that the petitions against four applicants that raised issues of purported partisanship, ineptitude, and membership in political parties had no basis.
“The committee did due diligence on the petitions by listening to the defence of the nominees and carrying out a detailed examination of the petitions to determine the validity or otherwise of the allegations against the four nominees,” Gaya said.
Some civil society organizations protested the nomination of individuals who were allegedly All Progressives Congress (APC) members.
The group denounced the nomination as a plan to sway the election’s course and result in favor of the APC in a statement signed by its chairman, Auwal Rafsanjani.
The CSOs asserted, among other things, that the nominee from Enugu was the younger sister of the APC Deputy National Chairman, South-East and that the nominee from Sokoto had previously run for governor under the APC.