The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Abia State, Ike Uzochukwu, has been suspended by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It was disclosed that Abia State was one of the states that faced logistics issues during the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections.
INEC has consequently directed its Administrative Secretary in the state, Clement Ohia to immediately assume the reins and ensure the smooth conduct of this governorship and state assembly elections scheduled for the 18th of March, 2023.
Recall that the electoral body on the 6th of March, 2023 also suspended its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) In Sokoto State, Dr Nura Ali.
INEC further directed the administrative secretary in the state to take full charge with immediate effects.
The letter with no INEC/SCE/442/V.II read, “This is to inform you of the commission’s decision for you (Dr Nura Ali), Resident Electoral Commissioner, Sokoto State, to stay away from the commission’s office in Sokoto state immediately until furthermore notice.
“The administrative secretary is directed to take full charge of INEC, Sokoto State office with immediate effects.”
In a separate letter, INEC directed the Administrative Secretary of the commission in the state, Hauwa Aliyu Kangiwa, to take full charge of the commission in the state with immediate effect.
The commission directs Hauwa to take full responsibility for all administrative and election pending when the commission directs otherwise
There are indicators Inec headquarters have received series of complaints on the perceived gross misconduct as well as incompetence of the affected RECs. The Sokoto Rec was accused of highhandness by inec staff who revolted against his leadership style and did not partipate in the polls. As a result Sokoto state became the only state that didn’t completely return any senatorial candidate elected. Inec would now have to conduct suplementary elections to conclude the process.
Confirming the withdrawals of the RECs, Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner and chairman of voter information and education committee, said the powers delegated to them have been set aside and they have been asked to stay away from the office to allow for electoral continuity.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, had said officials responsible for the infractions in the presidential election would not be involved in the gubernatorial poll.
Yakubu said it was imperative for the commission to review performances from the election and assess preparation for the forthcoming polls.
The directive that they step aside maybe Inec ‘s effort to deliver credible and hitch free polls in the March 18 governorship polls.
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