HURIWA Opposes Nomination Of Prof.Gumus As INEC Commissioner - FIRST AWARENESS


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

HURIWA Opposes Nomination Of Prof.Gumus As INEC Commissioner

 ...Says she is an APC member
Alleged membership Card.

By Our Correspondent.
A civil rights advocacy group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria HURIWA has petitioned the National Assembly calling for the disqualification of a National Commissioner nominee at the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Prof. Rhoda Gumus, saying that she is a registered members of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC.

The petition dated January 26, 2022 was separately addressed to the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and Deputy Senate President, Movie Omo-Ageg

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the group has "uncovered material evidence revealing that Prof. Rhoda H. Gumus; INEC National Commissioner nominee for Bayelsa State, South South is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC".

HURIWA said by confirming her as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, tasked with the mandate to conduct elections in Nigeria wherein the All Progressives Congress will participate, the National Assembly would be assisting in setting the stage for a very huge political crisis, which is capable of derailing the democratic process.

Part of the petition reads; "Sir, research and experience has shown that one of the factors that have compromised the credibility of elections in Nigeria is said to be the lack of structural independence of INEC. This was one of the main issues taken up by the Electoral Reform Committee in 2007.

"You would recall that among the recommendations that the Committee made was the necessity for guaranteeing the independence of INEC, both through the way that the Commission is funded and through the appointment process for its members.

"Beyond this, Prof. Gumus’ confirmation by this 9th Senate will be a violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Constitution specifically declares that appointees to the electoral body must be non-partisan and also not a card-carrying member of any political party.

"Specifically, Section 14(2a) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that “a member of the commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity.”

"While preceding paragraphs empowers the president to make appointments and the Senate to make confirmations, 3b, demands that the integrity of an appointee must not be in question.

"More so, Section 152 of the Electoral Act, provides that; "No person holding an elective office to which this act relates or a registered member of a Political Party shall be eligible for or be appointed to carry out duties of a returning officer, an electoral officer, presiding officer or Poll Clerk”.

"The interpretation of these Sections of the law raises questions as to whether it was considered before the nomination of Prof. Gumu was made. As a card carrying member of the ruling party or any other party for that matter, Prof Rhoda H. Gumus is unfit for the position she is nominated for, a role reserved for an unbiased umpire.

"Hence, confirming the nomination of Rhoda Gumus as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission would constitute a direct violence against the relevant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the independency of INEC, the Senate is hereby called upon to reject this nomination.

"Let it be on record that we are neither in any way against the person of Prof. Rhoda Gumus nor questioning her integrity. Rather our concern is for the Senate to ensure that any such appointment capable of derogating from the impartiality of INEC is never made. As such, the senate should see it as a concern that when constituting an umpire for elections, anything that can diminish public confidence in INEC must be avoided"

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