Mu’azu takes over as acting INEC Chairman

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Monday handed over the chairmanship of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd), a national commissioner of the electoral body from the Northeast.

Mu’azu will serve in acting capacity pending the confirmation or otherwise of Yakubu’s re-appointment by the Senate. The ceremony took place at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mu’azu was in-charge of the Electoral Logistics Committee of the commission in the 2019 general election.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in October, reappointed Yakubu as INEC chairman for a second and final term. He first appointed him in October 2015 but he assumed office on November 9, 2015 to oversee the activities of the electoral umpire. Yakubu’s reappointment is subject to approval by the senate.

Five national commissioners also bowed out of the commission yesterday. They are Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, Prof. Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine, Alhaji Baba Shettima Arfo, Dr. Mohammed Mustafa Lecky and Prince Adedeji Solomon Soyebi.

In his remarks, Yakubu explained that stepping aside was to demonstrate strict respect for and compliance with the constitution and other subsidiary laws.

According to him, it would be inappropriate for him to remain in office after expiration of his tenure 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 Mu’azu 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 any of them,” he said.

Mu’azu said he accepted the responsibility reposed on him, noting that all the national commissioners at one point or another have acted in the absence of the chairman (Yakubu). “I want to assure you that I will handle the affairs of the commission with due diligence,” Mu’azu said.

As his first task, Mu’azu sworn-in Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu as a resident electoral commissioner.

At the brief ceremony in Abuja yesterday, the acting chairman of INEC said Chukwu would be deployed to Ebonyi as state REC.

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