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General News of Sunday, 22 October 2023


Jega reveals why INEC Chairman shouldn’t be appointed by Presidents

Prof Attahiru Jega Prof Attahiru Jega

A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has called for the review of the appointment of the Commission’s Chairman by the president.

Jega said the President should not be the one to appoint INEC Chairman, Daily Trust reported.

He said this is important to prevent the perception that “he who pays the piper dictates the tune”.

He stated this while speaking at a two-day retreat organised for senators by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.

According to Vanguard, Jega recommended a joint committee of the National Assembly that will subject the applicants/nominees for the position of INEC to public scrutiny.

He said it would help to free the Commission from control of the executive.

He said: “Review the process of appointments into INEC, specifically to divest/minimize the involvement of the President in the appointment of Chairman and National Commissioners of INEC, in order to free the commission from the damaging negative perception of “he who pays the piper dictates the tune”.

“The Justice Uwais Committee recommended that the responsibility for advertising, screening, shortlisting and submission to the Council of State for recommendation to the Senate for confirmation hearings, for this category of officers, should be entrusted to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

“On second thought, and for obvious reasons, I will recommend a joint committee of the National Assembly be given this responsibility, with criteria, for transparency, non-partisanship and stakeholder engagement for the process.

The applicants/nominees for these appointments should be subjected to public scrutiny with regard to knowledge, skills, good character and non-partisanship. Guidelines should be provided for submitting petitions against any nominee during this process.”