Jonathan plotting to sack Jega next week — APC Senators

Members of the Nigerian Senate on the platform of the opposition, All Progressives Congress, APC, have accused President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party of a fresh plot to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission Chairman, Attahiru Jega, from conducting the forthcoming general elections.

The APC senators, led by the Minority Leader, George Akume, told a news conference in Abuja, Thursday, that they reliably gathered that the Head of Service of the Federation would direct Mr. Jega to proceed on pre-retirement leave next week.

“We have received information from a very credible source that next week, the Chairman of INEC will be given a letter from the office of the Head of the Civil Service to proceed on a terminal leave,” Mr. Akume said.

The lawmakers alleged that the Federal Government was trying to use a circular from the Head of Service dated August 11, 2010 to place Mr. Jega on compulsory pre-retirement leave.

He said, “Whether the letter emanates from the HoS office or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, it does not make sense. Even if we go by the terms of the Civil Service circular of August 11, 2010, (it) is not applicable whatsoever to the INEC chairman.”

The lawmakers explained that the circular, with reference number HCSF/CMO/1772/TI/11, talks about clarifications on pre-retirement leave, which is only applicable to tenured officers who are career civil servants not public official like INEC chairman.

They said anyone who has spent 30 years in service or has attained 60 years of age was bound to disengage officially from the service. The senators however said that the case of Mr. Jega did not fall into any of these.

The lawmakers claimed that Mr. Jega’s offence was his readiness to conduct the elections when the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled Federal Government was not.

The opposition senators insisted that card readers must be used for the elections since the National Assembly appropriated funds for that purpose.

“We want a credible election but in a situation where we are being informed that because the postponement of the elections attracted no reaction from the people, Jega could be removed for a plan-less person who will do the bidding of the government, doesn’t hold water,” Mr. Akume said.

“You cannot start a game which is about to end and suddenly you want to change the goalpost. You don’t want a referee that is fair to all. You want to have someone who will subvert the whole system for sinister, personal purposes.

“We will continue to say no to impunity. We will continue to say no to any attempt to undermine the credibility of the forthcoming elections.

“We therefore want to appeal to Nigerians to be steadfast to keep watch so that their labour will not be in vain. If Ghana and other countries can get it right, Nigeria can also get it right.”

He said although Mr. Jonathan reserved the right to remove Mr. Jega, but such authority could not be unilaterally exercised without the permission of at least two-thirds majority of the Senate.

Section 157(1) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution as amended provides that the president can only remove the INEC chairman, with the vote of 2/3 majority of all senators.


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  • Benny born

    His surely bouncing already. he knows the game is up.

    • malik

      I am really frightened for this country. We are in real trouble. our leaders are bent on plunging the country in to a m,major crisis for their selfish ends

  • Sanmi Falae

    The recklessness of a cornered presidency that is being advised by the likes of Ayo Fayose and Fani Kayode is unpredictable and knows no bound. If there is a time well meaning Nigerians need to watch and pray, it is now. May God, because of His people in this country, deliver Nigeria from those who are going down and want to bring Nigeria with them.

  • justme

    Ur figure head chairman has refused to give pple their voters cards so they can exercise their rites,or is sit only d northerners that has a rite to vote now!!..APC,u guys shud go and sit on hot coals since u all r jobless and don’t know what to do with ur time!

  • the truth

    Why is apc complaining.jega has been compromised to secure victory for apc.all neutral observers want an unbiased umpire which jega isn’t

    • amazing2012

      Ok when Jega conduct the last election why you did not complain ? Do you mean the one Jonathan is going to appoint will conduct free and fair election ? Jknathan is pushing this country to unnecessary crises, it’s you that will suffer. Surely Jonathan will escape to another country, he has already relocate his children to UK in the name of school !

  • TrueNigerian

    The truth is that there is desperation on the part of Jonathan and his other boot-licking supporters who all they want is a piece of the cake. They do not want to believe that their game is up either. Common sense should tell them that Nigerians want change before they finish taking this country down. People like the socalled ‘the truth’ and ‘justme’ are surely speaking from a riverine sentiment.

  • Sword of Damocles

    In way the NASS is reaping what they have sown. Jonathan’s extra-constitutional escapes did not start with rumored sacking of Jega. It started with the President spending vast amounts of monies not appropriated by NASS and with the suspension of the then CBN Gov. and before that the Appeals Court President, continued last November with the Siege at the NASS, culminating in his colluding with the military & security services to rig & postpone the election, Now I ask you in all these ANTECEDENTS that i have laid before you, what did the NASS do as its CONSTITUTIONALLY-MANDATED response? yes, absolutely NOTHING. ZERO, SIDDON LOOK!! And people are surprised that that the IMPUNITY & TYRANNY continues and is getting more BRAZEN each time. I urge Nigerians to recall what we do with our children when we see them do wrong. We NEVER ignore it. We let them know that they have done wrong, we then sanction them so they can KNOW that that kind of behaviour will not go unpunished. NASS, DO YOUR JOB, it is not like you can argue that you are not getting PAID to do that DAMNED job,

    As far as the forced retirement of Prof Jega, I would urge patriotic Nigerians to familiarise themselves with the “saturday night massacre” in the Watergate scandal that forced President Nixon out of office in 1974, The term “saturday night massacre” was coined during the watergate scandal because President nixon ordered his AGF Richardson to sack the special prosecutor of watergate A. Cox. AGF refused and TENDERED HIS RESIGNATION. President Nixon then asked deputy AGF Ruckelshaus to sack the special prosecutor, he too refused & resigned until robert bork 3rd deputy did it and that is why they call it “saturday night massacre”. the reason I told this long story, is because that the Head of the Civil Service in Nigeria needs to HONOR his father’s name and do what honorable men do, to demonstrate to the world that they are men of honor. SIMPLY RESIGN!!!! rather than go against the will of the vast majority of your people. Resign when you are asked to do the UNLAWFUL by higher ups. Let us start a culture of HONOR in Nigeria, those 2 Americans I mentioned today are venerated by their people for what they did. I know we have Honorable men and women in Nigeria , we need to start showing that to the world. Our motto should be “no be by force”. lastly my humble apologies for venting.