The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has ruled out the redeployment of its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos State, Segun Agbaje, for alleged misconduct.
Groups and individuals in Lagos are demanding Agbaje’s removal over alleged mismanagement of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) collection in some parts of the state and engagement of the state’s Parks Management Committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Olumo to convey election materials.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi in a chat with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja urged those demanding the REC’s redeployment to rethink.
He urged the groups calling for Agbaje’s redeployment to respect the relationship between the commission and all political parties.
Oyekanmi dismissed the allegations against the REC and described it as deliberate misinformation and distortion of facts.
He said: “Let me make one thing clear upfront. Mr Agbaje will not be removed as the REC for Lagos over unfounded allegations.
“He will not only conduct the Presidential/National Assembly election scheduled for February 25, he will also superintend over the Governorship/State House of Assembly election holding on March 11.
“He is a conscientious, honest, dependable, and hardworking REC. His integrity speaks for him in all the places where he had served.
“Let me break this down for you. During the recent Continuous Voter Registration that took place between June 2021 and July 2022, Lagos State under Agbaje registered the highest number of voters in the country – 585,629.
“On January 27 this year, we announced that out of the 940,200 PVCs delivered to Lagos State as of that date, 839,720 PVCs representing 89.3 percent had been collected.
“This debunks the allegation that the Lagos REC deliberately withheld the PVCs belonging to persons from a particular region of the country.”
On the movement of election materials in Lagos state, Oyekanmi said the commission was engaging individual vehicle owners.
He added: “The unions don’t have vehicles and even if they have some, they cannot possibly provide the number of vehicles that the commission requires to conduct the general election.
“Rather, the unions are made up of individuals that own vehicles.
“You then have to negotiate with the vehicle owners and join the unions as witnesses and for accountability purposes.”
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