A-Ibom REC: PDP Rejects Umoren, Sues Tinubu, Akpabio Over Appointment

  • Insists election rigging starts with skewed appointments

BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State has rejected the appointment of Etekamba Umoren as the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) over claims of obvious partisanship.

Consequently, the Party, through its State Chairman, Aniekan Akpan, and Secretary, Harrison Ekpo, have dragged President Bola Tinubu and the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to stop the recently announced appointment.

Among other demands, the plaintiffs, in their originating summons filed on Tuesday, are urging the Court to declare Umoren unqualified to be appointed as REC for being a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Attached to their summons are coloured photographs of Umoren wearing APC kits on the campaign train of the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.

The two PDP stalwarts argued that in line with the Constitution, which is supreme, all provisions stated therein must be strictly adhered to in determining how the President carries out his function under Section 154(3) and who qualifies to be appointed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) REC for Akwa Ibom and indeed every state in Nigeria.

Further arguing that elections rigging, which is the bane of democracy in Nigeria, unfortunately begins with the unconstitutional appointment of partisan officers into INEC, the plaintiffs said such skewed arrangements must be resisted in the overall interest of all citizens and the country at large.

In urging the Court to declare Umoren’s appointment not only illegal, but null, and void, the plaintiffs noted that President Tinubu failed to consult with the Council of State before making the announcement on October 25, 2023.

Their other prayers to the Court include; “A declaration that the 1st defendant (Tinubu) cannot present the 3rd defendant (Umoren) to the 2nd defendant (Senate) for confirmation as REC for Akwa Ibom;

“A declaration that the appointment of the 3rd defendant as REC is unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional, null and void ab initio, and of no effect whatsoever.”

Additionally, both plaintiffs are seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining President Tinubu from presenting Umoren to the Senate for confirmation as the REC in Akwa Ibom State

They are also praying for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Senate from allowing, permitting, and/or confirming Umoren as REC.

Also, they are seeking a further injunction restraining Umoren from acting, assuming the office, and/or parading himself as REC for Akwa Ibom until the case is disposed off by the Court.

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