His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, will lead a delegation of distinguished experts in observing Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections.
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).
Prof Osinbajo is a Professor of Law and one of the nation’s leading legal experts, serving as Vice President of Nigeria since May 2015. He will be joined by recognized dignitaries from various fields including, politicians, legal, media, gender and election administration professionals from across the Commonwealth to carry out the task.
Speaking on the appointment, the Secretary-General said: “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 our 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. He said: “I’m highly honoured 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.”
Upon arriving in Sierra Leone, the mandate of the Commonwealth Observer Group 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.
In line with Commonwealth methodology, the Group will consider, among other things, whether conditions exist for credible and inclusive elections, including a fair election environment; whether public media has been impartial; the transparency of the entire process; and whether voters are free to express their will.
Upon completion of 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.