Osun state, REC, INEC
Independent National Electoral Commission

By Henry Umoru, Abuja

The Senate yesterday  rejected the nomination of Raheem Muideen Olalekan as the Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Osun State of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

According to the Senate, confirmation of Muiden Olalekan as REC be deferred until he satisfactorily clears himself of all the allegations levelled against him by the petitioner.

The Senate however confirmed the appointment of Dr. Alalibo Sinikiem Johnson from Bayelsa State and Umar Mukhtar Gajiram from Borno State as RECS for INEC.

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Resolutions of the Senate were subsequent to the consideration of the report of the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC,Senator Kabiru Gaya. All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano South on the confirmation of Appointments as Resident Electoral Commissioners of INEC.

Presenting the report, Senator Kabiru Gaya said that the Committee did not recommend for the confirmation of  Muideen’s nomination because he could not defend the allegations of bias levelled against him by a petitioner.  

Recall that there was  mild drama at the Senate Committee on INEC last month November 5  when the Osun State Commissioner nominee for INEC, Raheem Muideen, admitted that he remained a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

But during debate on the report, efforts by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo – Agege, APC, Delta Central to save the embattled nominee failed

Omo- Agege, a lawyer argued that the petitioner did not show up at the Senate panel to defend his petition, hence Muideen should not be disqualified as a result of that.

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But the Minority Leader, Senator  Enyinnaya Abaribe, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abia South also a lawyer said that  the committee stood down the confirmation of the Osun nominee because he confirmed during screening that he was a card -carrying member of the APC, adding that  the panel only deferred Muideen’s confirmation pending when he would clear himself of the allegation.

Recall that Muideen had appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC for his confirmation screening after his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 46 year-old academic told the committee that he was still a bona-fide member of the APC.His confession therefore confirmed a petition against his nomination by one Oyebade Adebisi, who alleged  that he had openly supported for a particular political party which negates part of constitutional criteria for INEC Commissioner.

A member of the Senate screening panel, Opeyemi Bamidele, pointed out that the  committee cannot be seen to be endorsing a violation of the Nigerian constitutional which clearly provides that occupant of the office of the INEC Commissioner must be apolitical.

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