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Osinbajo to lead Sierra Leone Elections Observer Group

VP Yemi Osinbajo. Photo:Archive/ Raddio Nigeria

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is to lead the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) constituted by its Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland KC to observe the general elections in Sierra Leone.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande on Friday said the Secretary-General constituted the observer group upon the invitation from the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone for next month’s polls.

As the COG Chair, Osinbajo will be the leader and spokesperson of the Group, interfacing between them and the media, as well as the authorities of the host country, and also representing the Group at all official functions. He will also preside over meetings of the Group.

In a statement, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth expressed gratitude to Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for accepting the task to deepen democracy across the Commonwealth – despite his busy schedule and overseeing a seamless transition of his government.

“As a senior statesman from the region, Osinbajo understands in depth, the challenges across West Africa and I am confident he will lead a brilliant team,” the statement read.

Responding, Prof. Osinbajo welcomed “the opportunity to lead the election observers in Sierra Leone on June 24, 2023.

The Vice President, on behalf of the Nigerian government, had been at the forefront of championing democratic governments especially in the West African sub-region, under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

On several occasions, Osinbajo had represented President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria at different sessions of the Authority of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.

According to the Commonwealth Secretariat, Vice President Osinbajo will be joined by recognised dignitaries from various fields including politicians, legal, media, gender and election administration professionals from across the Commonwealth to carry out the task next month.

It also stated that “the mandate of the Osinbajo-led Commonwealth Observer Group in Sierra Leone “will be to observe the electoral process and provide an independent assessment of whether the election has been conducted in a credible manner.

The Group will then report on the conduct of the elections in accordance with the standards to which Sierra Leone has committed itself, including its own laws.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu