Oyo State Social Democratic Party governor candidate Michael Lana has threatened to sue President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd.) if he names alleged All Progressive Congress loyalists presented by him to the National Assembly for confirmation as Resident Electoral Commissioners.
Lana, a former attorney general of Oyo state, gave the president three days in a statement on Sunday to withdraw the names.
He described the appointments of the “APC loyalists” to become electoral umpires as unconstitutional and selfish.
Lana said the president’s failure to corroborate civil society’s claims that the nominees were loyalists to the APC and the silence of the nominees themselves despite the claim.
The statement read: “It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated some personalities who are members and loyalists of the All Progressives Congress as Resident Electoral Commissioners, and as a key stakeholder in Nigeria’s 2023 general election, I, Michael Lana, candidate for governor of the Social Democratic Party in Oyo state, joins patriotic Nigerians who strongly condemn the action.
“Having seen with great interest the criticism that greeted the controversial nomination of said APC members by President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter to the Senate dated July 25, 2022, read in plenary session by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, I expected Mr. President to clear the air by either denying the charge or withdrawing the letter so that the integrity of the electoral process is not compromised on the altar of partisanship.
“Since YIAGA Africa, on behalf of a coalition of civil society organizations, has questioned the justification for the names of some of the nominees for nomination as REC, it is curious and shocking that neither the presidency nor the nominees have come out to deny the allegations against them. This is a confirmation of the said claim.
“I support the argument that the appointment of the party men as electoral arbiters is self-interested, just as it violates Article 156(1)(a) of the 1999 constitutional amendment and would have serious consequences for credibility, independence and capacity of INEC to ensure free, fair and credible elections.”