Politics

CSO writes Senate over Prof Gumus’ nomination as INEC commissioner

A Civil Society Organisation, Concerned Nigerians has written the Senate president over the nomination of a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Professor Rhoda H. Gumus, as National Electoral Commission Commissioner.

Concerned Nigerians in a copy of the letter made available to NewsWireNGR and signed by its convener, Deji Adeyanju said Professor Gumus’ nomination is a “clear violation of the provisions of the extant Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)”.

The letter reads titled: ‘PROF. RHODA H. GUMUS’ NOMINATION AS NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION COMMISSIONER: REQUEST TO HALT THE GRADUAL DESCENT INTO AN IRREVERSIBLE DANGEROUS SLOPE’ reads; “We write, in our capacity, as a citizen led human right organization to offer a timely warning on the proposed confirmation of Prof. Rhoda Gumus as an INEC commissioner, in clear violation of the provisions of the extant Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“You will recall that a few days ago, President Muhammadu Buhari conveyed the name of Prof Gumusto the Nigeria senate for confirmation as an INEC commissioner. While we recognise Prof. Gumus’sprofessional capabilities, we, however, which to state that her nomination runs contrary to the provisions of Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, which prohibits the appointment of a member of a political party as an Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) commissioner. On March 27, 2021, Prof Gumus registered as a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as evidenced in her annexed APC’s membership card.

“You will also recall that, in what appears to be a disturbing pattern, a few months ago, President Buhari nominated Ms. Lauretta Onochie as an INEC Commissioner. The nomination was greeted with uproar across the political, religious and civil society divide, as a result of Ms. Onochie documented partisanship.Consequently, we submitted a petition to the National Assembly against her nomination, on the basis of which the National Assembly commendably rejected her nomination.

“However, despite the criticism that trailed Ms. Onochie’s nomination, we are deeply worried to note that the president, has, once again, nominated another card carrying member of the APC, as INEC commissioner. This is a direct threat to the nation’s electoral process and the ultimate security of Nigeria as a democratic nation.

“With the foregoing in mind, we, therefore, strongly urge that Prof. Gumus’ nomination be rejected, on grounds of her obvious partisanship. You may note that Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, states that a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be non-partisan.

“We wish to draw your attention to the fact that elections in Nigeria usually determine, to a large extent, the Nation’s fate. Accordingly, the senate must follow the precedent set in Ms. Onochie’s case by rejecting Prof. Gumus’ nomination. In the light of the foregoing, we hereby request that you take urgent steps to safeguard the nation’s present and future electoral process, by declining the nomination of Prof. Gumus’ as an INEC Commission”.

Concerned Nigerians also noted in the copy of the that attached; “a. A copy of her APC membership registration card; b. A copy of Prof. Gumus’ ward APC register showing her name at no. 27; c. Newspaper publications containing congratulatory messages to Prof. Gumus on her appointment”.

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