The re-nominated Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, on Monday handed over to retired Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu, as the acting chairman of the commission.
Mu’azu, who represents the north-east at the commission, is replacing Mahmood Yakubu whose tenure has expired.
Yakubu, whose first tenure ends on Monday November 9, was re-appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 27 as the chairman of the commission for a record second term in office.
The reappointment is, however, subject to a Senate confirmation after its resumption of plenary in November 24.
Speaking at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Monday, Yakubu said the national commissioners agreed that Mu’azu will take over as the acting chairman pending the confirmation.
“Pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining national commissioners have resolved that AVM Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd) will oversee the affairs of the Commission,” he said.
“It is therefore my pleasure to hand over to him in the interim. We have worked as a team for the last four years. Therefore, there is nothing new to anyone of them.”
“You may recall that the current commission was inaugurated in three batches. The chairman and five commissioners were sworn-in on November 9, 2015, followed by another six commissioners on 7th December, 2016, and one more commissioner on 21st July, 2018. The commission is a constitutional body whose members are appointed for five years, which may be renewed for a second and final term. This means that my tenure and that of the first set of five commissioners ends today,” he said.
“As you are already aware, the renewal of my tenure as chairman of the commission has been announced, subject to confirmation by the senate. Our work as election managers requires us to enforce the law, regulations and guidelines.
“In doing so, we must demonstrate strict respect for, and compliance with, the Constitution of Nigeria and subsidiary laws. Consequently, it will be inappropriate for me to remain in office beyond today, 9th November 2020, without confirmation by the senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.”
In his remarks, Mu’azu, said he has accepted the responsibility reposed on him, adding that the national commissioners have at one point or another acted in the absence of the chairman.
“I want to assure you that I will handle the affairs of the commission with due diligence,” he said.
Apart from Yakubu, the five National Commissioners, retiring from INEC were Mrs Amina Bala Zakari (Jigawa) who had acted as INEC chairman before Yakubu took over, representing the North-west; Prof. Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine (Kogi), North-central; Alhaji Baba Shettima Arfo (Borno), North-east; Dr. Mohammed Mustafa Lecky (Edo), South-south and Prince Adedeji Solomon Soyebi (Ogun), South-west.