APC Crisis: INEC declines invitation to monitor NEC meeting Thursday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declined honouring an invitation by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to monitor its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Thursday.

The acting chairman of the ruling party Governor Abubakar Bello had written to the electoral body, calling on it to monitor the meeting slated for next week Thursday, March 17.

In the invitation letter, Mr Bello who signed introduced himself as the acting national chairman, while Professor Tahir Mamman was introduced as the acting Secretary of the party.

But in a response letter dated March 9, 2022 and marked INEC/DEPM/APC/278/1/43 the commission declined the invitation.

Signed by INEC secretary, Rose Onaran-Anthony, the electoral body said the invitation letter was legally defective as it was not signed by the national chairman and secretary known to the commission.

It also pointed out that the timeline of the meeting did not meet the legal requirements were it ought to be notified 21 days before the meeting.

“Please refer to your letter Ref. APC/NHDQ/INEC/019/022/32, dated 8th March 2022,” INEC wrote.

“The Commission draws your attention to the fact that the notice for the meeting was not signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the CECPC contrary to the provision of the Article 1.1.3 of the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for Political Party Operations (2018).

“Furthermore, the APC is reminded of the provision in Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 which requires ‘at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference, or meeting convened for the purpose of ‘merger’ and electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any elective offices.’

“While hoping these issues are noted for compliance, please accept the assurance of the Commission’s warm regards.”