AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Byline: Emmanuel Aziken and Charles Kumolu
Prof. Maurice Iwu's professional qualification as one of the world's most reputable research pharmacologists with a specialty in compounding drugs from roots is not in contention.
The professional attainments of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Corporation (INEC) in the pharmacological utilization of plant tissue may have spurned the insinuations about the INEC chief being a refined native doctor. But refined herbalist or not, there is the question of whether Iwu could have utilized the abracadabra skills of the native doctor to cover the eyes of the nation regarding the end of his tenure at INEC?
That is the latest poser to have surfaced around the controversial INEC chief. Three weeks ago when agitation for the sack of the INEC chief reached what was thought to be its peak it took the separate intervention of members of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on INEC to douse tension on the fate of the INEC boss. How Distinguished Senators and Honourable members of the House of Representatives gave themselves into what many till today regard as a quixotic defence of Iwu remains a perplexity to many. Where they under any coercion or influence from the INEC chief? Many of them including some with nothing to loose indeed affirmed that they were indeed not under the remote influence of the powerful but controversial INEC chief.
While the constitutional points regarding the removal of the chairman of the commission, especially with regards to the role of the Senate remains undisputable, the unethical conduct of the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, that is Senator Isiaka Adeleke lining up in the defence team of the INEC chairman was apparently contestable. Hardly had that agitation ended than the issue of Iwu's perceived overstay as the nation's electoral umpire surfaced.
Lagos lawyer, Chief Femi Falana picking on sections 153 (1); 155(1) and 161 of the Constitution had sparked a debate when he told a national newspaper that Prof. Iwu's tenure as INEC chairman had expired by reason of effusion of time. His contention was that INEC like twelve other bodies mentioned in Section 153(1) of the Constitution was to have a chairman and commissioners with a statutory five year tenure in office.
Section 155(1) states thus: "A person who is a member of any of the bodies established as aforesaid shall subject to the provisions of this part, remain a member thereof - (c) in the case of a person who is a member otherwise than as ex-officio member or otherwise …