Nigerian Vice President Osinbajo to Lead Commonwealth Observer Group for Sierra Leone Elections
The Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E Prof Yemi Osinbajo, has been appointed to lead a team of distinguished experts in observing the general elections in Sierra Leone on June 24, 2023.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, confirmed that Vice President Osinbajo has accepted her request to chair the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG). The Secretary-General constituted the observer group upon receiving an invitation from the Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone.
Prof. Osinbajo, a renowned Professor of Law and one of Nigeria’s leading legal experts, has been serving as Vice President of Nigeria since May 2015. He will be joined by recognized dignitaries from various fields, including politicians, legal experts, media professionals, gender experts, and election administration professionals from across the Commonwealth.
Expressing her gratitude for his acceptance, the Secretary-General stated, “I am grateful to His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for accepting my invitation to undertake this important area of our work in deepening democracy across the Commonwealth. Despite his busy schedule and overseeing a seamless transition of his government, as a senior statesman from the region, HE Osinbajo understands in depth the challenges across West Africa, and I am confident he will lead a brilliant team.”
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to chair the Commonwealth Observer Group, stating, “I’m highly honored by the unique opportunity to continue to bring my expertise and experience in contributing to deepening democracy, especially in Africa, and the Commonwealth by extension.”
The mandate of the Commonwealth Observer Group upon arriving 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.
Following the Commonwealth’s methodology, the Group will assess whether conditions exist for credible and inclusive elections, including a fair election environment; impartiality of public media; transparency throughout the process; and whether voters are free to express their will.
Upon completing its assignment, the Group will submit its recommendations in a report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, who will subsequently share it with the Government of Sierra Leone, the Electoral Commission, political parties, and all Commonwealth governments.