As discussions continue over the state of leadership within the All Progressives Congress’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), the Independent National Electoral Committee has waded into the matter.
Festus Okoye, the INEC National Electoral Commissioner for information and Voter Education, on Monday, slammed the Abubakar Sani-Bello led faction of the CECPC for scheming to usurp the leadership.
Okoye made this disclosure during a live interview on Channels TV, “Sunrise Daily” monitored by the Truth online.
The INEC had refused to recognize the chairmanship of Niger State Governor, Sani Bello.
This was detailed in a letter by the commission dated 9th March 2022, signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran Anthony, and titled, “Re: Invitation to the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee.”
According to the INEC, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State remains the National Chairman of the APC Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, and will only correspond with him regarding the internal affairs of the party.
The Commission had, earlier, rejected a letter inviting it to an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee Committee of the ruling party.
In his comment during the interview on Monday, Okoye clarified that political parties ought to give the commission a 21-day notice regarding any change in leadership in line with predetermined guidelines in Section 82 of the Electoral Act.
“They wrote a letter over the NEC meeting but not signed by the Chairman or the Secretary of the party which is not in line with the guidelines of the commission. The signatures of the Chairman and Secretary are domiciled with the INEC which we cross checked. We wrote to the party to inform them about the appropriate thing while rejecting the letter. Both the Chairman and the Secretary must jointly sign.
“If the Chairman or Secretary is ill, the commission must be notified in order for the acting person to be ratified. We didn’t receive any communication that another person will act in place of the Chairman.
“The Commission drew the APC’s attention to Section 82 of the Electoral Act which stated that if any change is to be effected, the commission must be given a 21-day notice. The legal advisers of some of the political parties must ensure thorough advise for the betterment of the country’s democracy.
“Without the 21-day notice, whatever is being done by the party is invalid and void. Under the constitution, the INEC did the correct thing regulating the political parties,” Okoye clarified.