…Says intent is to tarnish Briyai’s reputation

By Ike Uchechukwu

CALABAR-A pro-democracy group, National Coalition for Progressive Change, has lambasted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for sacking the Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr Frankland Briyai, over non-compliance with code of conduct.INEC, APC, Akwa Ibom, Tribunal

The group described INEC’s decision as not only unconstitutional, but a calculated attempt to tarnish the image and integrity of the former REC who followed all due processes before resigning from office.

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Dr Frankland Briyai, had on Tuesday in Calabar, resigned his appointment to contest the November 2019 Bayelsa governorship election under All Progressives Congress, APC platform.

He said he decided to throw his heart into the rings following pressure mounted on him by his constituents.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has frowned at the action of Dr Frankland Briyai and subsequently relieved the Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), of all his duties.

Although the Commission acknowledged that it is the right of any commissioner or official of the Commission to resign his or her appointment and join any political party of his/her choice and to aspire for any office or position, but kicked against the use of its premises or facilities for any political purpose as this is unlawful and contrary to the Code of Conduct subscribed to by all its officials.

Condemning INEC’s decision, the South- South Coordinator of the National Coalition for Progressive Change, NCPC, Comrade Sampson Effiom, in a statement issued in Calabar on Saturday, said Dr Briyai had sent his resignation letter dated August 5, 2019 to the commission and wondered why they came out to say they have not got it.

Effiom in a statement maintained that the former REC did not use the facilities of INEC per se as claimed to play politics, he only came around to honour the reception organized for him by the staff of the commission and bid them farewell.

The statement partly:”We are well aware that Briyai has sent his resignation letter since August 5, 2019.  He is only answering the call to serve his people who have found him worthy to lead the state.  Thus his declaration openly.

“INEC decision is unconstitutional and cannot stand because the Section 306 (2) which they quoted does not give them powers to sack a senior appointee auxh as REC.

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“REC was appointed by the President and confirmed by national assembly and so only the President has the powers to remove him and not the commission.

“We wonder therefore why NEC is now acting on behalf of Preaidency or perhaps they have ulterior motive which is to bring the former REC down because of his rising profile.

“We, therefore, call on the commission to rescind its decision or we might be forced to seek for redress in a competent court of law,” they bemoaned.

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