About 33 state offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) now operate without substantive Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) following the inability of the Federal Government to replace those who served out their tenures since last year.
INEC sources disclosed that about 29 RECs have completed their tenure without being replaced, while five others will leave office on Saturday, leaving the commission with only four Resident Electoral Commissioners.
Confirming the development, INEC National Commissioner, May Agbamuche- Mbu, said that the electoral body will soon fill the vacant offices. She added that the development will not create any vacuum in the commission’s operations in the states as decisions are only taken from the national headquarters.
“By March 4, five more Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) will complete their tenure. This is in addition to the 28 RECs who had earlier completed their tenure. Those leaving on March 4 are Prof. Jacob Jatau (Federal Capital Territory), Segun Agbaje (Ondo), Barrister Austin Okojie (Bayelsa), Baba Abba Yusuf (Adamawa) and Nasir Ayilara (Niger). We thank these gentlemen for their contributions to the work of the commission over the last five years and wish them well in their future endeavours,” Agbamuche-Mbu disclosed.
Agbamuche-Mbu told journalists on Thursday in Abuja that INEC had begun the implementation of the report of the in-house panel on Rivers’ rerun with the overhauling of the state office.
The national commissioner stated that based on the Report of the Administrative Panel on the Rivers Rerun elections, the commission decided to redeploy key officers of the Rivers State office of INEC.
According to her, all the directing staff, including the Administrative Secretary, all Heads of Department, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors as well as all the 23 Electoral Officers in Rivers State, have been redeployed.
Agbamuche-Mbu further revealed that a total of 202 officials of INEC from 14 states were mentioned in the report, adding that the commission subsequently queried and invited them to appear before an Administrative Panel. The final report of the panel will be considered by INEC next week, she said.