(Mahmood Yakubu (INEC Chairman)

Wakeupafrica360 correspondent in Nigeria reports that the Senate on Tuesday confirmed the reappointment of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the second term of five years. This comes five days after the Senate Committee on INEC screened Yakubu following his nomination for appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari. The Senate confirmed Yakubu’s nomination sent by President Muhammadu Buhari after Ibrahim Gaya, chairman of the committee on INEC, presented a report for consideration of his confirmation for a second tenure in office. Gaya said Yakubu is qualified to occupy office again as chairman of the electoral commission and that the committee did not receive any petition or incriminating reports against the nominee, stating that Yakubu is a person of integrity who is not affiliated to any political party. “The nominee displayed high intelligence and he has the temerity to hold office of the chairman, the nominee is not affiliated to any political party and he has not attended any political rally or campaign. The nominee has met the requirements of section 451 and section 41 (i)(ii) of the third schedule part 1(f) contained in the 1999 constitution of the republic of Nigeria as amended”, Gaya said. Yakubu’s nomination was unanimously approved by the lawmakers after the consideration of the report by the Senate Committee on INEC during plenary.

Speaking on the character of the nominee, Senator Sandy Onor (PDP – Cross River North) said: “Today, as a Senate, we are recognizing the fact that there is a square peg in a square hole. This professor sitting in INEC has demonstrated competence and has shown indeed that he is an unbiased umpire. Today, politicians don’t go into elections scared of whether they’ll be oppressed or not. That is the reality, If you are with your people and doing the needful, you can trust that you will go to the field and win your elections. That is the kind of situation we have always asked for. I do believe that going by his performance in the first term, that he would do even better in his second term”. Reacting to Yakubu’s confirmation, the APC, in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Yekini Nabena, said: “The task before Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and the election management body he leads is to strive further in being unbiased and apolitical”. The APC added that technological innovations recently introduced and deployed by INEC have improved the credibility and efficiency of the country’s electoral processes. It stressed the need to continue to support and invest in these innovations and for INEC to remain apolitical.

President Buhari had on October 27, 2020, reappointed Yakubu, a professor of Political History and International Studies, for another tenure of five years subject to confirmation by the senate. The INEC chairman handed over to Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu (Rtd), a national commissioner of the electoral body from the Northeast to be in an acting capacity in November. With the confirmation of his reappointment by the senate, Yakubu can begin to discharge his duty fully after taking the oath of office. The Senate also yesterday received a request from Buhari for the confirmation of two commissioners for the INEC. The request was contained in a letter dated 27th November 2020, and read at plenary by the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan. The nominees are Professor Sani Muhammad Adam, Commissioner (North-central); and Dr. Baba Bila, Commissioner (North-east). According to the president, the request was made pursuant to Paragraph 14 of Part I (F) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

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