The Peoples Democratic Party has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to carry out open investigation into the activities of its sacked Resident Electoral Commissioner in Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai.
Briyai had announced his resignation on Thursday, saying he took the action to allow him to contest the forthcoming Bayelsa governorship election scheduled for November 16 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
However, the commission claimed on Friday that it had yet to receive his resignation letter.
A statement by the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, directed its Administrative Secretary in Cross River State to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice.
The statement read, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC, Cross River State, Dr Frankland Briyai yesterday (Thursday) addressed the media to the effect that he had resigned his position as REC with effect from August 8, 2019 and joined a political party on whose platform he intended to contest the November 16, 2019 governorship Election in Bayelsa State.
“While it is the right of any commissioner or official of the commission to resign his or her appointment and join any political party of his/her choice and to aspire for any office or position, INEC frowns on the use of its premises or facilities for any political purpose as this is unlawful and contrary to the Code of Conduct subscribed to by all its officials.”
“Following his declaration, the commission has relieved Briyai of his duties as a Resident Electoral Commissioner and withdrawn all powers delegated to him. Consequently, the Administrative Secretary of Cross River State has been directed to oversee the office and take over the functions and duties of the REC until further notice.”
In its reaction, the PDP said it was not surprised that a sitting REC could use the commission’s facility to announce his resignation and also pitch his tent with a political party as well.
The PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, who spoke to one of our correspondents, called on the national leadership of INEC to investigate the activities of Briyai and other members of the top hierarchy of the commission.