- INEC admitted that it has no right to sack a Resident Electoral Commissioner and that only the president can do so
- This came following Frankland Briyia's insistence that he was not sacked by INEC but that he resigned
- It was earlier reported that Briyia was sacked after he declared to contest for the Bayelsa governorship seat in the premises of INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that only President Muhammadu Buhari has the right to remove Frankland Briyia, a former Cross River state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC).
INEC had initially said it had sacked Briyia after he declared his intention to run for the Bayelsa governorship election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
Briyia, however, said he was not sacked, insisting that he duly resigned.
He had said: “Let me state this – the REC is nominated by the president and the president sends the nominees to the Senate. The Senate screens them and if they’re found worthy, confirms them and sends them to the president who eventually gives them appointments.
“The moment the appointment is given to the REC and the REC does anything wrong, INEC will investigate, send its reports and makes its recommendation to the President.
“If the president and his team investigate and see that what the REC did contravenes the code of conduct, he will send the report to the Senate. The Senate will debate it, if the two-third majority of the Senate finds the REC guilty, it will rectify it and send it back to the president.
“It, therefore, means that only the president can sanction the REC. I have contacted INEC headquarters and the news about my sack is fake. INEC said it didn’t say a thing like that. I’m sure you have watched or maybe read INEC’s publication; you won’t find anything like sack because I resigned officially.”
INEC reportedly claimed it did not receive the resignation letter but affirmed that the commission has no right to remove a commissioner.
Festus Okoye who is INEC’s chairman for information and voter education committee said the commission does not have the constitutional or legal power to remove a Resident Electoral Commissioner “as it is within the power of the president to appoint and subject to confirmation by the Senate.”
“By Section 157 of the constitution, a Resident Electoral Commissioner can be removed by the president on an address supported by two-thirds majority members of the Senate for inability to discharge the functions of his office or for misconduct. By paragraph 15(h) of the third schedule to the constitution the REC exercises the powers delegated to him by the commission.
“The commission withdrew the powers delegated to the REC based on our appreciation of his breaching of code of conduct.”
Recall that an earlier report had that the electoral body sacked Briyia for using its premises to declare intention to join APC and contest the forthcoming governorship election in the state.
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