The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that the process adopted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Cross River, Mr. Frankland Briyai in resigning to join partisan politics was faulty.
The commission made it’s position known in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.
The statement quoted INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of the Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, as making the clarification, adding that although Briyai had the right to join a political party and to contest election, the way he made public his intention to join partisan politics did not comply with due process.
“What happened was that our REC in Cross River did not forward any letter to any of the appointing authorities.
“He did not have any communication with the supervising National Commissioner, the Chairman of the Commission, but organised a send-off party for himself on Aug. 8.
“He announced that he had joined partisan politics and announced that he had formally joined one of the registered political parties.
“We consider this unacceptable; we have a code of conduct that binds every national commissioner and REC. We cannot be partisan and at the same time be umpires,” he said.
Okoye also denied reports that INEC had removed him, adding that the commission only withdrew the powers conferred on him.
“The truth is that the commission does not have the power to sack or dismiss any REC because it is not the appointing authority”, Okoye said, adding that all INEC RECs were appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by Senate and could only be removed in the same process.
“Since Briyai has compromised his independence, we have removed all the powers given to him by the commission.
“All those powers now reside with the Administrative Secretary in the state,” he added.
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