Ebun Adegboruwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria and public affairs commentator, has argued that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be decoupled from the presidency. The interview was published in The Punch and occurred after the verdict was announced by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.
The election that resulted in Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu becoming the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and the former Governor of Lagos State serves as the context for this talk. Both the Labour Party’s Peter Obi and the People’s Democratic Party’s Alhaji Atiku Abubakar contested Tinubu’s victory at the Presidential Election Tribunal.
Adegboruwa’s words of wisdom are not just for the petitioners and their solicitors but for all democratic reformers as well. He emphasised the importance of paying attention to INEC, implying that the body in charge of overseeing and organising elections should be reformed. Since INEC is currently responsible for too many things, he thinks it should be “unbundled. To guarantee that the election body is free from presidential interference, he calls for INEC’s autonomy.
He said, “My advice is not just to the petitioners but also to the lawyers and to all lovers of democracy to focus on INEC. The electoral body is the right institution to help us effectively nurture and drive democracy. It is time to unbundle INEC. The body is attempting to perform too much at once. We also need to ensure INEC operates autonomously. A president with electoral ambitions should not be the one to nominate the body’s chairman. That’s how we can free INEC from politicians: by removing INEC’s presidency.