The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Has clarified the purported Report that its Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr. Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, was detained by the police for matters relating to political party Primaries.
The Commission in a Statement released on Friday by Its National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Barr. Festus Okoye said the Edo REC was only invited to provide insight into some technical issues regarding the commission’s processes and nothing more.
Okoye said the Edo State Police Command has however issued a statement to clarify the situation, saying that the REC was neither detained nor is he personally under investigation as media reports suggested.
He said while the commission welcomes the clarification by the Police Command, it is necessary to point out that any other official of the Commission assigned by the REC could have provided the required insight, Alternatively, a visit to the INEC State Office by the Commissioner of Police or his assigned representative could have achieved the same goal as has been the tradition in its collaborative relationship with security agencies.
Okoye emphasised that Dr. Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, the Edo REC, is a conscientious public officer and co-chairman of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) at State level And was the sitting REC when the last Governorship election was conducted in Edo State on 19th September 2020 which was adjudged to be free, fair and credible.
The statement however advised that Any action capable of creating the impression of harassment of INEC officials or infringment of the independence of the Commission must be avoided, especially at this critical period of preparations for the 2023 General Election.
Editor Paul Akhagbemhe