By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday said it was yet to receive resignation letter from its Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River, Dr Frankland Briyai, who on Thursday announced his resignation.
The commission in statement issued by National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in Abuja said it was not also aware that Briyai had tendered his resignation to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) had on Thursday reported that Briyai resigned his appointment with INEC to join the Bayelsa governorship race, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Briyai, who served as Cross River REC from 2017 until his resignation, said he left his job to contest for the governorship of his state, following calls from the people for him to run in the Nov.16 Governorship Election.
Meanwhile INEC in its statement said that Briyai failed to follow laid down procedure for resignation, while it also frowned at the use of the commission’s premises to declare his partisan interest, saying it is unlawful.
“Briyai on Thursday addressed the media to the effect that he has resigned his position as REC with effect from Aug. 8 and joined a political party on whose platform he intends to contest the Nov.16 governorship election in Bayeisa State.
“Although this was done at the Commission’s Cross River State office in Calabar, the Commission is yet to receive any communication on this from Briyai.
“The Commission strongly frowns at the expression of partisan interest.
“We note that the Constitution precludes National and Resident Electoral Commissioners from belonging to parties.
“Also the use of INEC premises and facilities for such declaration or for any political purpose is unlawful and contrary to the Code of Conduct subscribed to by all INEC officials.
“Briyai failed to follow laid down procedure for resignation as REC.
“Section 306(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999 (as amended) provides that the resignation of such appointment takes effect on receipt of the letter of resignation by the appointing authority in this case the President.
“We are not aware that he has tendered his resignation to the appointing authority and the Commission has not received any resignation letter as he claimed,” it said.
It added that following Briyai’s action, and based on the 1999 Constitution, the commission had withdrawn all power delegated to him as REC.
It saud “Consequently, the Administrative Secretary of INEC Cross River has been directed to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice.”