The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), BudgIT, and 34 concerned Nigerians have today filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court in Abuja asking the court to declare President Bola Tinubu’s appointment of alleged APC members and associates of high-ranking politicians as new Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as illegal and unconstitutional.
The lawsuit argues that the appointments violate the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Act, which require that RECs be appointed on the basis of merit, competence, impartiality, and non-partisanship. The plaintiffs contend that President Tinubu’s appointments are a clear attempt to rig the upcoming 2027 general elections in favour of the ruling APC party.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that several of the appointees have publicly declared their support for the APC, while others have close ties to high-ranking APC officials. The plaintiffs also point out that the appointments were made without due process and without any public consultation.
“These appointments are a blatant attempt to undermine the independence and impartiality of INEC,” said SERAP Executive Director Kolawole Oluwadare. “If allowed to stand, they will seriously jeopardize the credibility of the 2027 elections and threaten Nigeria’s democracy.”
“The appointment of partisan individuals to INEC is a recipe for electoral manipulation and rigging,” said BudgIT Country Director Cheta Nwanze. “We call on President Tinubu to immediately withdraw these appointments and appoint RECs who are truly independent and impartial.”
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the appointments null and void, and to order President Tinubu to appoint new RECs in accordance with the law. They are also asking the court to award them damages for the violation of their rights to a free and fair election.