INEC: Senate confirms 7 RECs, reject 1

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The lawmakers want their election held first in 2019, before that of the state lawmakers and state governors, with the last being the presidential election, Premium Times writes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had fixed February 16, 2019 as the day for Presidential and National Assembly Elections while March 2, 2019 was fixed for Governorship, State Assembly and FCT Area Council Elections.

The Senate's move comes after the House of Representatives, on January 23, amended the Electoral Act to change the order of the 2019 general elections.

The report was unanimously adopted by the APC controlled House of Representatives.

The National Assembly on Wednesday confirmed seven out of the nine nominees for the position of Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The president is yet to speak on the matter although it is believed to be targeted at him.

The confirmation followed the adoption of the report by the Senate Committee on INEC on the screening of the nominees.

The House endorsed section 87 was amended by adding a new section 87 (11) with a marginal note "time for primaries of political parties" (a) the primaries of political parties shall follow the following sequence (i) State House of Assembly (ii) National Assembly (iii) Governorship (iv) president.

The protesters say despite the adoption of the report by the Senate, they would insist on its reversal.

"We view the amendment as one done in bad faith, hence erosion of INEC's powers as an electoral umpire which had already issued sequence and order of the 2019 general elections - National Assembly/President, and State Assembly/Governorship elections".

However, the Osun nominee, Eric Olawale has reportedly turned down his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari as he (Olawale) was said by the Senate committee to have failed to show up during the screening, with no reason tendered.

Saraki had after the presentation, put up the report for adoption via a voice vote, saying there was no need for debate on it as it was from a conference committee which had harmonised the versions of the two chambers.