Jega cannot resign or go on terminal leave — Falana

Femi Falana

Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana, has said that the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Atahiru Jega, cannot go on terminal leave or resign as speculated.

Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said this while speaking to journalists during the Nigerians United for Democracy rally held at Ojota, Lagos on Saturday.

He maintained that the INEC chair is not a civil servant and thus cannot go on terminal leave.

“There is no provision…Jega has a 5 year tenure which is renewable under section 155 of the constitution. There is no provision for sabbatical or terminal leave. Jega is not a civil servant to be ordered by the head of service to proceed on leave and in any case, you can’t go on leave when the basic duty for which the constitution has appointed you is been performed so there is no room for resignation or sabbatical leave,” Mr. Falana said.

He maintained that the general elections cannot be further postponed stating that the constitution states that elections must hold 30 days before handing over date.

“Constitutionally, elections cannot be further postponed; if the government does it, it will be asking for anarchy and there is no provision for it in the constitution. The president has repeatedly assured Nigerians that there is no room for interim national government.

“We have also been told that there will be no coup, therefore, we have to operate within the ambit of the law and that is why you cannot go beyond April 11 to conduct election because under the constitution, election must be held not later than 30 days to the handing over date. That means all the elections must be completed before April 29,” he said.

Mr. Falana said the rally was not in support of any political party but to warn the government not to tamper with the new election dates.

“The government has said those dates are sacrosanct, but we are only here to warn them that if there is any attempt to thinker with those dates, we would mobilise Nigerians to throw out all the antics of anti-democratic system”.

He urged the armed forces not to interfere with electoral process stressing that it is not their duty to determine when elections will be held.

“We expect that the government will appreciate that Nigerian people will not allow any further postponement of the election dates. We also want the armed forces to stay clear of democratic process. It’s not their business to determine when to hold election. Just like other Nigerians, they have the fundamental right to vote for a candidate of their choice, but they have no right to tell INEC when to hold election and when not to hold to hold election,” he said.

He reminded the current administration of how past governments who attempted to truncate democratic process were chased out of power.

“Even military dictators could not frustrate democratic process, for that reason, once we mobilise Nigerians, no force can stop us,” he said.

He disagreed with the government’s position on the reason for the shift in election.

“Elections were held in Syria, Iraq and Libya. What will be the excuse for not holding elections in Nigeria? In Yobe, local government elections were held in 2013 and there was no incident. The president was in Maiduguri to campaign, the APC candidate, General Buhari was in Maiduguri to campaign, and there were no incidence, so why should they stop elections in other parts of the country?” he asked.

The NUD rally which kicked off from Maryland to the Gani Fawehimi Park in Ojota saw attendance by other democracy activists including the Nigerian Labour Congress Vice president, Isa Aremu; former NADECO and Afenifere member, Ayo Opadokun; lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, amongst others.


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  • The worst that can happen is for Jonathan’s government to further shift the last election date to April 25, 2015, and try to hand over government to a Senate President. APC should make sure the Senate President is an APC senator. This way Jonathan is cornered whichever way he goes.

    • Kabiru

      Very interesting comment.
      But I hope you realize this can only happen if David Mark defects to APC??
      Or do you think APC can muster the numbers to remove the Senate president??
      Do you know the requirements for doing that??
      Nawa o.
      You APC Guys tho..

      • This is Jonathan’s trump card and my suggestion is one way to checkmate him.

        • Kabiru

          You are correct..but it doesn’t look feasible..

          • “With God nothing shall be impossible”

          • Don Messi

            Your scenario is HIGHLY Improbable..but NOT Impossible.. especially with God.
            You are a spiritual man. I like that.
            Nigeria needs a Spiritual revolution..a genuine spiritual re-birth.
            May the Lords will be done..

          • AMEN and AMEN.

          • Pete

            God can’t be on the side of liars.
            APC has been proven to be “ONE WEEK, ONE LIE! “

          • Jonathan and PDP have been deceiving, lying and corrupting the Nigerian people, facilitating the mass kidnap of their girl-children and murdering innocent civilian and military citizens for the past 6 years. Surely God is not with both Jonathan and PDP. The time for God’s change is now, March 28, 2015
            Sai Buhari, Fe Buhari, Love Buhari, March 28, Vote Buhari, DESTROYER of Maitatsine and Boko Haram and of all Corruption in government, as President of Nigeria.

          • Pete

            Listen to yourself. You sound like a primary school kid reciting what he doesn’t understand in front of the school assembly!

    • Charles Owolabi

      Yomi please stop day dreaming
      Buhari has already lost the up coming elections.
      The PDP has mobilized people at the grass roots. PDP is in control of 662 of the 774 local government areas in the country and they have been able to galvernize people at the grass roots through their present push- operation deliver your ward. So while Buhari is in London pretending to be busy GEJs foot soliders are out there moping up votes.
      Our Prayer is that Buhari accepts defeat and respects the non violence accord reached with the PDP. We pray that after he tastes defeat a secon time at the hands of GEJ that the barboon and monkey would not be soaked in blood by his orders.
      Remember the last time when he lost to GEJ he instigated so much violence over 580 Northern youth lost their lives to the violence that ensued.
      Our prayer is that he only goes home and cries like he did the last time
      Elections are not won by social media postings .
      Every where the general is being clubered.
      APC has no more money to fund its campaign
      Boko Haram has finally been beaten to stpor
      PVCs are now reaching GEJ strong holds
      Tinubu is negotiating for a soft landing. He wants to retain Lagos for support for GEJ. He has already sold out the general.
      Buhari should go and prepare his retirement speech

      • March 28, 2015 will prove all your lies. PDP is in control of 662 of 774 local governments, yet Jonathan is being snubbed or stoned wherever he goes. Jonathan must be as hallucinated as you are.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    So, if Jega is investigated and it is discovered that he has connived with APC to register under-age voters, government cannot sack him, right? This Falana is an imbecile.

    • Funso

      Ọmọ àlè ni Orafidiya.

  • Don Messi

    Whenever I hear a lawyer..and A SAN FOR THAT MATTER..talk this way, I get very worried!
    Whenever lawyers talk not from the point of law but out of sheer sentiments, anarchy looms in a nation. Or else how else does one explain these absurd comments from a SAN??
    LET ME STATE THAT I DO NOT SUPPORT ELECTIONS BEING POSTPONED BY ONE SECOND!
    However, if the constitution says must be held not later than 30dys before handover, it means elections must be concluded not later than April 29. Going by INEC timetable, it appears they have decided to have 2wks btwn the presidential and gubernatorial elections. What that means is even if INEC Postpones the presidential election to say April 11, and the Gubernatorial to April 25, it will still be within the dictates of the constitution!
    SO WHY ALL THESE RECKLESS STATEMENTS BY THE ‘SAN’???
    Also, I find it hard to believe Falana said Jega CANT Resign??? What sort of public service job doesn’t allow one resign?? IS HE IN A JAIL CELL??
    I really wish the APC members in positions of authority will be circumspect and truthful in their comments. We are all aware how their e-zombies throw off their thinking caps and swallow EVERYTHING they read here!
    Most of us do not support the extension of the elections by one second, BUT IS THAT ENOUGH REASON TO SPREAD FALSEHOOD?? WHICH IS FAST BECOMING SYNONYMOUS WITH APC???

    • Pete

      APC is “ONE WEEK, ONE LIE! “

  • Tony

    FALANA, ARE THESE REALLY AND TRULY YOUR WORDS?
    WOW!!

  • Sunny0099

    Jonathan will never try shifting the election again. He better not or else….

  • Goodluck_Nigeria

    Jega cannot Resign = False

    Jega cannot go on terminal leave = False

    • Don Messi

      Uve put it in a nutshell.
      Very concise..it shld be helpful to the APC e-zombies.
      However, I don’t think terminal leave is applicable to Jega here.
      But to say he ‘cant’ resign is WIERD!

    • Mazi

      Goodluck is also entitle to 3 months terminal leave. Hahahahahahahaha. He is a worker too. Use ur brain to analyse not sentiment.

    • bright

      Find out the difference between civil and public servant also tenor office

  • truthisbitter

    PDP and Jonathan are expired and must be voted out. They are so naive that, they do not understand the how social media is hindering their lies, manipulations and crimes on Nigerians. Social media has rendered political lies and manipulations of masses so useless that at the click of a mouse all Jonathan and PDP lies and crimes are distributed to all nooks and crannies of Nigerians including people in the villages who are all carrying phones with social media capabilities.

    PDP and Jonathan has had great chance to make Nigeria one of the greatest countries on earth but due to their greed, evil minds, and a terrible ignorance, they used this golden opportunity to legalised corruption and siphoned all Nigeria’s wealth to their foreign accounts. Now it is evident that, the more they lie, deceive or commit crimes to Nigerians the more people hate them and run away from them. Their predicament has reached an unprecedented level now that they have to bribe even our Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and our traditional rulers to get votes for Jonathan. At the same time, they have pay e rats a very large sum of money to come to online media and make posts for them.

    Now, because of their cluelessness, they have continued to commits more blunders that holding election has become a nightmare for them. In fact, they are not scared of losing election per se. What they are scared of, is the aftermath of the election because there is no hiding place on the surface of this world for them. No matter what it takes they will be brought to book.

    As for Nigerians, I urge people to be very objective when it comes to discussing National issues. This is because your single deliberate action that you know is not right, may ruin the lives of many Nigerians including your own self. Call a spade a spade because we all need a vibrant Nigeria where you can exercise our creativities to the fullest. PDP and Jonathan will never ever support the development of that vibrant Nigeria. So why waste your precious intelligent brain in supporting a terribly corrupt government and party that has no you, your children, your great-grandchildren in their minds. You are rather wasting your time. Even if they have paid you some money to write for them, that money is not worth your own rights to have a very conducive country you deserve.

    • Joe

      Jega must go on terminal leave just like Iwu that went during his tenure

  • ayo

    Falana have allowed tribalism and hatred of Jonathan to becloud and undermine his luminary experience. If by falanas postulations election must hold 30days to 29 may ,it means that this elections can be legally and constitutionally held on April 28 .falana had messed up himself and lowered his public esteem because of his recent almajiri somersaults on important issues.falana has seriously undermined himself and is no longer fit to advice or direct Nigerians.

    • segun

      Shut up! PDP/Jonathan paid post. What do you know about law! You think knowledge of law is sitting down n one cybercafe and post rubbish! Serious minds are talking, you put your Goodluck Jonathan and PDP paid mouth into serious issue! Shut up!

      • ayo

        That’s the stock in trade of an average APC E rat,always raking and vomiting .fault me on my postulation that election can be constitutionally held on April 28 .falana is no longer a respectable lawyer,he is now thinking and misbehaving like an area boy simply because of tinubus loot and his hatred of Jonathan because he is not having tribal marks.

        • Don Messi

          That’s my point too. Too many of these APC people allow their passion and sentiments becloud their sense of reasoning. Like I said above, they seem to throw away their thinking caps. All they will do is abuse you..but dare not fault u in terms of the law and constitution. Attitudes like theirs is what actually puts some decent people off.
          It’s not worth it bro..there are not more than 2 APC fans on this site u can have a meaningful discourse with. Most are just abusive and obscene. Leave them to wallow in their poverty..of the mind and soul..

        • segun

          This is a response to so-called ‘ayo” and Don Messi. Question is: do you know what the law says? You think all you need to do is sit down in a cybercafe and post gibberish and get paid for it and that is talking “law” ? So shut Up your mouth(s). You need to inform the country whether Prof Jega is a civil servant or not. You think because you-Goodluck Jonathan- have oil money with which you bribe everyone and rig the election, that you can then do anything? Your candidate-Goodluck Jonathan is afraid to lose. hence he is looking for all kinds illegal ways to stay in govt. So shut Up! Show Nigerians which part of the constitution defines Jega as a civil servant!

          • Don Messi

            SHAME ON YOU! STOP BEING BLINDED BY SENTIMENTS. I DOUBLE DARE YOU TO SHOW ME AND NIGERIANS ANYWHERE I SAID JEGA IS A CIVIL SERVANT!
            READ MY RESPONSE TO ‘Goodluck_Nigeria’ above!
            If you are not blinded by your violent nature and inability to respect others views, you wuldv seen where I told him ‘I DONT THINK TERMINAL LEAVE IS APPLICABLE TO JEGA’!
            GO THRU MY COMMENTS, I DID NOT PICK FALANA UP ON HIS COMMENT ABOUT TERMINAL LEAVE..MY ISSUE WAS; (1) HE LIED BY SAYING ELECTIONS CANT BE POSTPONED WITHOUT IT VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION
            And;
            (2) HE LIED AGAIN WHEN HE SAID JEGA COULD NOT RESIGN!

            I NEVER FOR ONCE TALKED ABOUT JEGA NOT BEING A CIVIL SERVANT. YET YOU CAME OUT WITH THE TYPICAL APC VENOM. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU THROW OFF YUR THINKING CAP!
            THINK BEFORE OPENING YOUR MOUTH, THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANS AND LOWER ANIMALS LIKE GOATS AND COWS..YOU ARE EXPECTED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE RATIONAL DECISIONS/COMMENTS. YOU HAVNT DONE THAT HERE..ARE U A LOWER ANIMAL OR WHAT??

    • Progress

      You are obviously sick!

    • Olu Ade

      Hmmmmm. Did you say all that about the same Falana that led series of protest to demand that Jonathan as VP then should be made acting president when a cabal refused to let him act when Yaradua was sick. Human memory is really short but Patriotic Nigerians will not forget the heroic contributions of Falana, Soyinka etc that Nigeria follow due process. Then, protest was daily phenomenon in the South West while the today’s Jonathan supporters (Dokubo, Tompolo, Clark, Alamesigha, Oritsejafor) were busy with their militancy and stealing crude oil.

      The river that forgets it’s source, will surely dry up.

      • ayo

        Obviously it was falana that was the senate President that invoked the doctrine of necessity that made Jonathan acting President, it was falana also that swore in Jonathan as President when yaradua passed on. was falana that voted Jonathan inn in 2011. friend go sit down for ‘TITI’.falana is an empty irritant looking for attention. Falana had traded his integrity and sound mind with tinubus perfidious loot of Lagos.shame to him.

      • Joe

        Falana is Tinubu’s lawyer. Remember the certificate saga between Tinubu and Gani?. Falana was tinubu’s lawyer and immediately after the case, falana was giving a house at Ikeja GRA and since then Falana’s life have never remain the same.

      • Don Messi

        Nawa for u guys o. So because Falana led protests to garner support for GEJ To become acting president, Nigerians like ‘ayo’ must be silent when Falana goes off tangent??
        Is that your idea of change?? What u are saying is assuming Buhari comes into power and the usual suspects; Tinubu, Sylva, Abubakar Audu, Saraki, etc etc, continue with their ‘business as usual’..i.e looting..u mean Buhari should be SILENT And look the other way because they ‘protested and rallied round’ to get him in??
        Some of you guys prove daily that this change slogan is just a mantra..Honouring with your lips..but change is far from yur hearts.
        Pathetic..

      • Charles Owolabi

        Olu I totally dis agree with you when you say Dokubo , Tompolo and Clark are stealing crude.
        You can not steal what belongs to you.
        83 percent of all the oil blocks in the country belongs to Northeners
        10 percent to people of South West extraction and the rest is owned by other ethnic nationalities.
        Yet there is no single drop of oil flowing in the North
        What gives a man like Danjuma the right to own 3 oil blocks in the Niger Delta each with reserves in excess of 1 billion barrels the right to own those blocks?
        Danjuma worked as a solider that is as a civil servant yet he owns all these assets
        He recently sold a 45 percent stake In one of the blocks for 1 billion dollars and pocketed the money
        What gives folusho Alakija the right to own 100 percent stake in Agami oil block that produces over 250 thousand barrels per day?
        The woman was just a hair dresser/ fashion designer who got the block because she was a friends to IBBs wife.
        Now this lady is worth over 7 billion Dollars according to ventures magazine yet the true owners of the oil are called thieves. Fairness Nigerian style.
        Until the Nigerian Nation stops this internal colonialism where others enjoy the benefits of the oil resources while the true owners are left deprived there would be no end of o this action of taking oil from the pipe lines.
        Nigeria as a nation has feed fat on the resources of the Nigeria delta
        Lagos and Abuja were built from the resources of the Niger Delta
        What we should seek is a development of a just an equitable resources structure through the implementation of a regional structure of governance.
        That would see every region utilizing its own resources for development and with each region developing at their own pace

      • Charles Owolabi

        Olu falana is just playing to the gallery
        There are rules that govern the disengagement of civil servants. All that GEJ should do is follow laid down rules.
        If Falana has a problem with that let him go to court.
        I expected more from him.
        Why has he not challenged Buhari to produce his Cambridge school certificate result?
        Why has he not taken Buhari up for telling a lie to the Nigerian people that his certificate was with the military board? Remember that Buhari made these statements under oath.
        Falana should just go and sit down
        The elections would hold and Buhari would loose
        What we are praying for is that after Buhari looses that he does not incite the youth of the North like he did in the past so that the Baboon and the monkey would not be soaked in blood
        We pray he only goes home and cries like he did the last time

    • Maitama Tambari

      Ayo, you are the messed up kid. How can you hold election to Federal and States on 28-04-15 just to meet with you arithmetic of 29-05-15, handing over day? You are in a mess like your darling PDP. WE BELIEVE CHANGE! YES WE CAN.

    • bright

      When Jonathan was afraid to take over govt. After yayaradua it falana and bakare where where you

      • Danny

        So that gives them a licence to fabricate LIES??
        Jega can’t resign??
        It will be unconstitutional to shift elections(God forbid) by even a week??
        Wow!
        God has given you a brain..dont let others think for u..USE IT!

    • SAM .A

      Creek monkey, e – rat without memory . It was Falana, Professor Soyinka, Pastor Bakare that catapulted this your timid Jonathan to president Seat in 2009 , while Ecdwin Clark, Tompolo & Asari were soaking themselves with Ogogoro in your Creek..

  • NamesAre4Tombstones

    Another Tinubu foot soldier.

    This man once strived to attain national recognition, now he is a regional nobody.

    • Progress

      And you a foor soldier of anarchists

      • NamesAre4Tombstones

        There are no bigger anarchists in this world today than islamic fundamentalists, to which – your self, your party (APC), your candidate (Buhari), your master (Tinubu), and your foot soldiers (Boko Haram), are shamelessly and unforgivably associated.

        • Progress

          There are more muslims in PDP top hierachy than APC – Muazu, Obanikoro, Alkali, Kashamu, Shekarau ; all known BH supporters are in PDP an General Owoye Azazi CONFIRMED that and was killed for that reason.

          • NamesAre4Tombstones

            Look Mr Man, even a toddler knows which party Boko Haram is working for. Ever since the Army has started flushing out those rats, APC campaign has fallen apart.

            Of course PDP has muslims and christians, PDP is a national party, unlike APC which only has muslims but no christians.

            APC is the personal property of Tinubu and his extremist co-travellers, he has as much chance of ruling Nigeria as a monkey has of being Queen of England – zero!

          • Progress

            Your senses are on leave? So Oyegun Amaechi Gemade Okorocha Ngige Igbokwe Fayemi Oshiobaba Dakuku Oyinlola Ogbonaya etc are Muslims?

    • blackdove

      I am sure you were not born when Femi Falana “made his bones” , fighting for social justice in Nigeria with the likes of Ayo Opadokun, Late Gani, Late Beko, Olisa Agbakoba, Pat Utomi, Wole Soyinka and so many others. This time around, pay attention because you might learn one or two things about fundamental human rights.

      • NamesAre4Tombstones

        He was fighting for his pocket, and for his tribe. Femi Falana means nothing to me, he is a loud empty barrel that has now been blinded by tribal sentiments.

        Let him tear his APC membership card in public, then we can take him seriously.

    • Island man

      its shows you are toddler that is still learning how to talk………….you have no idea what its means fighting for social justice….

    • SAM .A

      You are either in your mother’s ovary& in your dad’s pant when Attorney Femi Falana was NANS president before u were born.He ,Gani Fawehimi , Agbakoba and others were the Human Right fighters who mediated delivery or birth of these democracy &free speech you are enjoying today.It is unfortunate that those who were opposed to democracy, who were in bed with military like harlots are the one enjoying the sweats of Falana, Agbakoba ,Ubani , & late Gani Fawehimi.
      May The Lord forgive u for insulting him.

  • Joe

    Falana has lost relevance. He do not understand the law any longer. It’s a pity!!!

    • IskaCountryman

      jega cannot even die…i guarantee it…

    • Joe Blog

      He does not understand the law…….

  • burning spear

    was maurice Iwu a civil servant-‘ I said once the Fulani North says one thing APC will hire either Soyinka–Sagay and Falana to back their janjaweed thoughts———————–Maurice Iwu was due to quit in June—he was asked to leave in April and ACN was all over the country shouting with joy———-this time APC is saying no cause Jega WAS CAUGHT ATTEMPTING TO RIG ELECTIONS FOR THEM

  • Pete

    This APC charlatan activist has made himself conveniently absent in the Buhari certificate scandal.
    He has conveniently lost his voice on the disgrace.
    That’s why these activists should always be viewed with suspicion.

  • meniru

    ICHEOKU says except there is a precedent in former INEC Chairman Maurice Iwu living INEC few weeks to the election of 2011 and before Jega stepped in. What is imperative is that his employer, the Nigerian people as represented in the president, takes a decision on whether Jega stays or goes, period. But unfortunately, this same Falana has been wrongly interpreting laws as it suits his peculiar narrative, as he similarly once did by suggesting that rebellious army people had the right to protest and you ask yourself who is this guy trying to deceive? In as much as ICHEOKU would rather Jega sits up and dispassionately conducts the election, especially for optics reasons, because if he goes and the APC loses as they would either way, they will blame it on Jega being removed? So Jega should be fully minded to honorably conduct the election as an unbiased umpire and let the tree fall as it may. But this Falana is sure stepping into a fray and intentionally striving to deceive some gullible Nigerians with his weird interpretation of supposed law when there is a precedent to fall on. Icheoku reiterates, if the CEO of Nigeria PLC decides that any employee will go, he or she goes and there is no argument on that, period.

    • Utere

      Please fault Falana, if you will, on point of law and not an unlawful precedent.

  • Segun

    Tell Falana to drop that drug so that he can reason clearly.

  • clem

    Falana are u speaking from law perspective or as a Chieftain of APC? I bet u Jega will receive his terminal leave letter within this week,Prof.Iwu was asked to leave under the same circumstance,unless u and ur party has hatched a clandestine plan with Jega