The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Etekarnba Umoren as the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State, despite the controversies surrounding his nomination.
Umoren, who was a former Chief of Staff to Senate President Godswill Akpabio when he was the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, is also a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom. His appointment had been opposed by some groups and civil rights activists who accused him of being partisan and unfit for the position.
However, President Bola Tinubu had insisted on his nomination and asked the Senate to confirm him and other nominees in a letter read on Tuesday. The letter stated that the request was in compliance with the constitutional provisions.
On Wednesday, Umoren was confirmed alongside six other nominees from Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Kwara, Nasarawa and Niger states. The remaining three nominees from Rivers, Zamfara and Lagos states were absent and their confirmation was deferred.
The confirmed RECs are to serve a five-year term each, and can only be removed by the president and a two-thirds vote from the National Assembly.