A governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Oyo State, Michael Lana, has threatened to challenge the nomination of names of members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly for confirmation as Resident Electoral Commissioners in court.
Lana, who is a former Attorney General of Oyo State, in a statement on Sunday gave the President three days to immediately withdraw the names of APC members .
He noted in the statement on Sunday that any election conducted by these “APC loyalists” would not stand in the face of the law and would amount to waste of taxpayers’ money and time, candidates and their parties.
The statement read, “It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated some personalities said to be members and loyalists of the All Progressives Congress as Resident Electoral Commissioners, and as a major stakeholder in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, I, Barrister Michael Lana, governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party in Oyo State, join patriotic Nigerians in condemning the action in strong terms.
“Having watched with keen interest the criticisms that greeted the controversial nomination of the said APC members by President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter to the Senate, dated July 25, 2022, read at plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, I expected Mr President to have cleared the air by denying the allegation or by withdrawing the letter in order for the integrity of the electoral process not to be compromised on the altar of partisanship.
“Since YIAGA Africa, on behalf of a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations, called to question the justification for the names of some of the nominees for appointment as RECs, it is curious and shocking that neither the Presidency nor the nominees have come out to deny the allegations made against them. This is an affirmation of the said allegation.
“I back the argument that the nomination of the party men as electoral umpires is self-serving just as it contravenes Section 156(1)(a) of the amended 1999 Constitution and would have grave implications for the INEC’s credibility, independence and capacity to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
“Let the Presidency and the National Assembly know that any election conducted in any state under the supervision of any of the nominees (if their appointment is ratified) is not only flawed but unconstitutional ab initio and, I being a stakeholder in the said election, will not just look on but institute a legal action if the names are not withdrawn within three days.
“I urge the National Assembly to ensure that they are not railroaded or used, by any means, to undermine democracy in our country.”