INEC Swears In Nine New RECs as Senate Approves Appointments    - The Top Society

INEC Swears In Nine New RECs as Senate Approves Appointments   

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Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday administered the oath of office to nine newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) at the INEC Headquarters in Abuja.

The appointments come on the heels of the Senate’s approval on November 1, 2023, of seven nominees presented by President Bola Tinubu as RECs.

Following a thorough screening process on November 2, 2023, an additional three RECs were confirmed by the Senate.

President Tinubu’s nominations align with the constitutional mandate outlined in Section 154(1), prompting the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu, to emphasize the immense responsibility and sacred duty that overseeing elections entails.

He urged the newly sworn-in RECs to adhere to electoral legal frameworks, the REC code of conduct, and exercise good conscience in discharging their duties.

He said,

“The conduct of elections is not only a huge responsibility but also a sacred duty. As RECs, you are the representatives of the Commission in the various States to which you will be deployed shortly. 

“I urge you not to engage in a puerile debate that adds no value to your work. At the same time, you must not be impervious to genuine criticisms. You must maintain the Commission’s tradition of regular consultations with critical stakeholders. 

“You must always be very firm in ensuring fairness and transparency to all. Let me make it clear to you from the outset that you must at all times be guided by the electoral legal framework, the code of conduct for RECs, and your good conscience. 

“Similarly, I must warn you to understand and operate within the limits of your delegated powers and responsibilities. Our State offices are part and parcel of the Commission and we will not hesitate to deal with acts of defiance, indiscretion, or transgression on the part of any REC.” 

This batch of appointments is notable as it includes several career officers from INEC, reflecting a commitment to strengthening the electoral process from within.

The Chairman announced that the 10th REC-designate would be sworn in next month, coinciding with the expiration of the tenure of the current REC representing Akwa Ibom State deployed to Delta State.

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He said,

“Today, nine out of the 10 RECs screened and confirmed by the National Assembly were sworn in at this ceremony. 

“The tenth REC-designate will be sworn in next month on the expiry of the tenure of the REC representing Akwa Ibom State currently deployed to Delta State. By the proactive decision taken by the appointing authority, there will be no long waiting period before the vacancy is filled. 

“Let me therefore seize this opportunity to commend the selfless and dedicated service rendered to the commission and the nation by the outgoing REC in Delta State, Reverend Dr Monday Udo Tom. The same appreciation is extended to all the other RECs whose tenure ended after serving meritoriously.” 

Mahmood added that this was the first time that several INEC career officers were appointed as RECs, calling on them to hit the ground immediately.

“Among the nine new RECs, four have been career officers of the Commission rising to the rank of Director. They have been involved in elections and electoral activities both in the field and at the Headquarters. 

“Their experiences traversed electoral operations, election and party monitoring and electoral litigation. This is the first time that several INEC career officers have been appointed as RECs. You are not new to the conduct of elections. There is no learning curve for you. 

“Consequently, there can be no excuses for failing to hit the ground running and for making a huge difference to the quality and transparency of elections. The other five RECs are sworn in today and have varied experiences in public service at both the National and State levels. We will hold you to the same standard as we hold the career officers of the Commission.” 

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The newly sworn-in RECs and their respective deployments are as follows:

1. Abubakar Dambo Sarkin Pawa – Kebbi

2. Abubakar Ma’aji Ahmed – Borno

3. Dr. Anugbum Onuoha – Edo State

4. Ehimeakhe Shaka Isah – Akwa Ibom

5. Aminu Idris – Kaduna

6. Mohammed Sadiq Abubakar – Kwara

7. Barr. Oluwatoyin Babalola – Ondo

8. Olubunmi Omoseyindemi – Ekiti

9. Shehu Wahab – Nasarawa 

Barr. Oluwatoyin Babalola, speaking on behalf of the newly appointed RECs, pledged loyalty to their duties, acknowledging the weight of their responsibilities as custodians of the electoral process in Nigeria.

Noteworthy among the appointees is Barr. Oluwatoyin Babalola, formerly the Director of Legal Services at the commission’s headquarters, and Aminu Idris, a retired director from the Election and Political Parties Monitoring Department at INEC headquarters.

Shehu Abdulwahab, previously the INEC’s administrative secretary in Benue State, rounds out the accomplished roster of newly sworn-in RECs.

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