Posted by Romanus Ugwu, Abuja | 9 August 2019 | 1,005 times
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday announced the sack of Cross River State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Frankland Briyai, but made a U-Turn shortly after.
His sack had been announced via a statement signed by INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, who said:
“The REC, Cross River State of INEC, Frankland Briyai, on Thursday addressed the media to the effect that he has resigned his position as REC with effect from August 8, 2019, and joined a political party on whose platform he intends to contest the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
“Although this was done at the commission’s Cross River State office in Calabar, the commission is yet to receive any communication on this from Dr. Briyai.
“Section 306(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states that the resignation of such appointment takes effect on receipt of the letter of resignation by the appointing authority – in this case, the president.
“While 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, INEC frowns at 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.
“Following his declaration, the commission has relieved Dr. Briyai of his duties as a Resident Electoral Commissioner and withdrawn all powers delegated to him. Consequently, the Administrative Secretary of Cross River State has been directed to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice,” the statement read.
However, INEC later in the evening clarified the statement, with its National Commissioner and Director of Voter Education, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, saying that the commission does not have the power to take such action.
He explained that INEC could only delegate power, duties, and responsibilities, saying that was exactly what it did.
“I don’t think we have the power to sack a REC,” Mr Osaze-Uzzi said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He added: “The REC’s duty, powers, and responsibility have been delegated by the commission. What the commission just have power to do is delegate his power, delegate his duty, delegate responsibility.
“In this particular case, we have withdrawn that delegated power such that Dr Brayai no longer functions as the REC of Cross River State. He has said he has even resigned anyway.”
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