The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has handed over the affairs of the commission to Ahmed Mu’azu who will serve as acting chairman, pending his [Yakubu] confirmation by the Senate.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved Mr Yakubu’s reappointment as INEC chairman, following the expiration of his first term tenure today, Monday, Novemeber 9.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Prof. Yakubu noted that it would be inappropriate for him to remain in office beyond November 9, without confirmation by the Senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.
He said: “You may recall that the current Commission was inaugurated in three batches. The Chairman and five Commissioners were sworn-in on 9th November 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.
“As you are already aware, 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.
“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.
“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”, he said.
He lauded the support of the members of the Commission, the Resident Electoral Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, the Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Directors, members of the technical team, heads of the various security agencies deployed to INEC and all staff of the Commission nationwide.
In his response, the Acting Chairman, Mr Mu’azu who is a retired Air-Vice Marshal, thanked the outgoing chairman of INEC and his colleagues for the privilege and confidence reposed in him to oversee the commission.
He assured that he will handle the affairs of the commission with all due diligence.