The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, is today expected to hand over to an acting chairman who will oversee the affairs of the agency pending the confirmation of his (Yakubu) reappointment by the Senate.
The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the conference hall of the commission’s headquarters in Abuja at 2pm, according to an invitation sent out to journalists by Yakubu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi.
Until his reappointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, Yakubu was first appointed INEC chairman in October 2015 but was officially sworn in on November 9, 2015.
The INEC boss would hand over to one of the seven national commissioners whose tenure will not lapse before November 9. It is, however, still unclear which of the electoral commissioners will occupy the chairmanship position in acting capacity pending Yakubu’s return.
The seven national commissioners whose tenure will not expire before November 9 include Abubakar Nahuche, Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd), Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu and Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola. Others are Malam Mohammed Kudu Haruna, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu, and Barrister Festus Okoye.
It was gathered that the remaining five commissioners have served two terms and, therefore, are not eligible to act in Yakubu’s stead.
But in a terse message to journalists, Oyekanmi confirmed that “the acting chairman will be introduced at the event on Monday.”
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.
Buhari, in a letter to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said: “In accordance with the provision of Section 154 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I am pleased to present for confirmation by the Senate, the nomination of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a second and final term.”