the Centre for Awareness on Justice and Accountability (CAJA) has urged the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to direct a management staff of the Commission, Garba Lawal, to proceed on retirement leave with immediate effect in the interest of free, fair and credible elections in the coming days.
In a recent general employees transfer exercise toward checkmating the staff tendency to compromise the coming elections, Lawal, who is the Administrative Secretary of INEC in Kano, got his movement from the State reversed, an action perceived by the public as motivated by some vested political interests.
Further, Lawal has come under the close watch of opposition parties in Kano, following his refusal to proceed on mandatory three months’ leave before the due retirement date of 14th March 2023, an alleged maladministration to help smooth the way for some election manipulators.
Lawal, accused in some political quarters as a serial vote manipulator in Kano, ”allegedly participated in the widely condemned rigging of the Kano State 2019 gubernatorial election which has been attested to by many election observers within and without Nigeria.”
CAJA, a Kano-based non-governmental organization that advocates accountability for a better Nigeria, in a letter dated 2nd February and signed by Kabiru Dakata, Executive Director, expressed concern over public mistrust that Lawal’s illegal continue to stay in INEC may cause the Commission at a critical time of important elections.
The NGO insistently urged INEC Chairman to, ”direct Lawal to immediately proceed on three-month mandatory pre-retirement leave as stipulated by the law and in the interest of free, fair and credible elections promised by the Commission.’