FG Appoints Mahmood Yakubu As New INEC Chairman

The Council of State on Wednesday in Abuja approved the appointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as the new Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state made this known while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting, which President Muhammadu Buhari presided over.

“The situation in INEC as at today is such that requires for this emergency meeting to approve the nominations by Mr President because the law requires that a minimum of four commissioners should form a quorum in INEC, which is not the case presently because the tenures if 11 of national commissioners of INEC had expired.

“In line with this, the council considered and confirmed the appointments of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of INEC; Mrs. Amina Zakari as member representing North West; Dr Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbile as Commissioner representing North Central; Alhaji Baba Shettima Arfo, (from Borno) as Commissioner representing North East; Dr, Mohammed Mustapha Lekki from Edo as Commissioner representing South South; and Mr Soyebi Adedeji Solomon (from Ogun) as Commissioner representing South West.

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Tambuwal stated that Buhari acted within the provision of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which conferred on him the power to appoint a Chairman and National Commissioners in consultation with the Council of State.

Accordingly, he said, the council received a memo on three nominations of Chairman and five Commissioners for INEC.

Tambuwal explained that the situation in INEC was such that it required an emergency meeting to approve the nominations by the President.

The governor further explained that the law stipulated that a minimum of four commissioners should form a quorum in INEC, but that it was not the case at the moment because the tenures of 11 National Commissioners had expired.

He said that the council had agreed to stagger the confirmation of the appointments of commissioners given the situation whereby the tenures of individual commissioners expired almost at the same time.

“To avert future occurrence of such a situation, the council has agreed that the next six of the commissioners should be submitted subsequently for its approval.

“These names have been approved and will be transmitted to the National Assembly for confirmation.’’

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He said that the Kogi and Bayelsa polls did not come up for discussion at the meeting because the matter was strictly within INEC’s field of activity.

On who will supervise the elections in the two states, Tambuwal said, “obviously the new chairman and members of the commission.

“I have said earlier that we need a quorum for the commission to function and that is why Mr President in his wisdom summoned this emergency meeting for us to approve these names.

“So, I am sure it is the new chairman that will now supervise and conduct the elections in Kogi and Bayelsa.’’

The new INEC Chairman takes over from Amina Zakari, who has been acting as Chairman of the Commission since June when Prof. Attahiru Jega completed his tenure.