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Reason Buhari Won’t Withdraw INEC REC Nominees Accused Of Corruption, Partisanship – Lai Mohammed

Despite the clamour for their withdrawal, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday, said President Muhammadu Buhari will not withdraw some nominees for the position of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners recently accused of corruption and partisanship. PREMIUM TIMES reports.

Mr Buhari had on 26 July, sent 19 names to the Senate for confirmation as RECs.

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Four of the nominees appointed by the President were fingered by some Nigerians and a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as partisan or have a known history of corruption.

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The four nominees are Muhammad Bashir (Sokoto), Sylvia Agu (Enugu), Pauline Onyeka (Imo) and Queen-Elizabeth Agwu (Ebonyi). Information Guide Nigeria

While Mr Bashir was named to have participated as APC governorship candidate in 2015 elections, Ms Agu was linked to the South-east deputy national chairman of the party.

The CSOs, at their press conference, said Ms Onyeka, a former Head of ICT for INEC in Imo, has a history of “connivance with politicians to circumvent elections in the state.”

PREMIUM TIMES, at the time of filing this report, could not independently verify all the allegations levelled against the four REC nominees. jamb results

In reaction to the CSOs’ allegations, Mr Mohammed, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, said the clamour for the withdrawal of the nominees is not a concern for Mr Buhari.

He challenged the civil groups and other Nigerians to take the case to the Senate rather than subjecting the current administration to a media trial.

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“As to the nominees that are being challenged by social media warriors and by some critics, I don’t think it is the business of the president to immediately throw out the nominees based on allegations which have not been proven.

“I think the whole idea is that these people will go for confirmation in the National Assembly, the same questions that are being raised in the public domain will be asked there.

“I think this media trial is quite worrisome because even when these people are cleared of any wrongdoings, nobody comes back to apologise to them. So, my advice is, yes, there will be allegations against anybody. It does not mean that that fellow is guilty. Let’s wait for the process to be completed,” the minister told State House journalists.

“Before we came, it was almost impossible for a ruling party to lose an election in any state, maybe governorship. But that has changed under President Muhammadu Buhari. This is because the president has insisted on free, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.

“So there are no basis for anyone to express doubt that the 2023 general elections will not be free, fair and credible. Mr President has been clear on this and that will not change in the 2023 general elections,” Mr Mohammed said.

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Essien, Goodnews is a gruaduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, Uyo; Currently working at Infoguide Media as a news writer.

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