INEC Denies Plans to Remove Imo REC Amidst Controversy  - The Top Society

INEC Denies Plans to Remove Imo REC Amidst Controversy 

TOPSOCIETYNG

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has dismissed rumors of any plan to remove the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Imo State, Prof Sylvia Agu, despite mounting pressure from several quarters.

This announcement comes in the wake of a tumultuous stakeholder meeting held in Owerri, Imo State’s capital, where some gubernatorial candidates staged a walkout in protest of alleged partisanship by the Imo REC.

Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, clarified the Commission’s stance during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today program on Wednesday. He stated, “There is no reason to remove Agu,” emphasizing that the Commission has found no concrete evidence to implicate her or substantiate the allegations leveled against her.

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He said:

“The REC will conduct the election. We don’t have any reason to remove her from there, and we don’t have any evidence that implicates her or proves any allegation that is being alleged at this time.”

“The Commission takes its responsibility seriously, and we don’t joke with the conduct of elections, and when there are complaints against our officers, we also don’t joke with complaints, but you must provide evidence that our officers are culpable.”

Highlighting the Commission’s commitment to maintaining fairness and transparency, Oyekanmi pointed to previous instances where disciplinary actions were taken against RECs in Abia, Sokoto, and Adamawa states during the general elections earlier in the year.

He underscored that such actions were a response to the RECs’ deviation from the established guidelines of the Commission.

Furthermore, the spokesperson for the INEC Chairman assured political parties participating in the upcoming election in Imo State that the Commission would remain impartial and unbiased, fostering an environment conducive to free and fair electoral processes.

“The assurance we are giving to all political parties is that we are not going to allow any pandering towards any interest in this election; our interest is to conduct free, fair and credible elections,” he said.

He mentioned that the electoral body has assigned nine extra RECs and two national commissioners to every state where gubernatorial elections are scheduled for November 11, 2023.

The spokesperson also disclosed that 46,000 staff members of the commission have been dispatched to the trio of states. Concurrently, both sensitive and non-sensitive materials, along with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines, have been delivered to these states.

Oyekanmi affirmed that there is no reason to question the capability of the security agencies, providing reassurance to voters in the three states regarding the functionality of the Result Viewing Portal (IReV) on Saturday.

 

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