Buhari seeks Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion of INEC boss

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Ismail Mu­dashir

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari yes­ter­day sought Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion of Pro­fes­sor Mah­mood Yakubu, the newly ap­pointed chair­man of the Na­tional In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC).

The pres­i­dent’s let­ter was read on the floor of the Sen­ate yes­ter­day by the Sen­ate Pres­i­dent, Bukola Saraki.

Yakubu, a former Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary of the Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Trust Fund was ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Buhari on Wed­nes­day and his ap­point­ment has been rat­i­fied by the Coun­cil of State.

Pres­i­dent Buhari also sought for the con­fir­ma­tion of Amina Bala Zakari who was act­ing INEC chair as Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the North-West, Dr. An­tonla Taiye Okoosi (Kogi), North­Cen­tral, Al­haji Baba Shet­tima Arfo (Borno), North-East, Dr. Mo­hammed Mustapha (Edo), South-South and Mr. Soyebi Ad­edeji Solomon(Ogun), South-West.

No date has been for their screen­ing con­fir­ma­tion. fixed and

The Coali­tion of Civil So­ci­eties Groups in Nige­ria has called on the Chief Jus­tice of Nige­ria to im­me­di­ately dis­band and re­con­sti­tute the Cross River State Elec­tion Pe­ti­tion Tri­bunal due to al­leged un­con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity.

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence in Abuja yes­ter­day, na­tional chair­man of the coali­tion, Com­rade Iso Bassey Edim, said the tri­bunal was not con­sti­tuted in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of the con­sti­tu­tion.

He said based on con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions, chair­man of any elec­tion tri­bunal is sup­posed to come from the Court of Ap­peal, but al­leged that in the case of Cross River State, that is not the case as the chair­man is from one of the high courts in a North-East state.

He said if the anom­aly is al­lowed to go unchecked, it would amount to a se­ri­ous breach of the con­sti­tu­tion, which he said would not augur well for the coun­try’s democ­racy.

The All Pro­gres­sives Grand Al­liance (APGA) has call for the im­me­di­ate and com­pre­hen­sive re­view of the na­tion’s elec­toral laws, say­ing the ex­ist­ing laws can­not be used for the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions and oth­ers af­ter the Kogi and Bayelsa gov­er­nor­ship elec­tions.

Na­tional chair­man of the party, Chief Ike Oye, made the call yes­ter­day in Abuja at the un­veil­ing of the gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date in the com­ing Bayelsa gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion, Dea­con Christo­pher Enai.

Oye said the de­fi­cien­cies in the ex­ist­ing laws cre­ate room for trav­esty of jus­tice, in­clud­ing mak­ing it ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for those chal­leng­ing out­comes of elec­tions to have a fair hear­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to him, there were cases, in­clud­ing those of Na­tional As­sem­bly elec­tions, where the party had in­con­tro­vert­ible ev­i­dence that it won the elec­tions, but the tri­bunal ruled that the pe­ti­tioner (APGA) has failed to prove its case be­yond rea­son­able doubt.

The Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Congress (DPC) has com­mended Pres­i­dent Muhammed Buhari for ap­point­ing Pro­fes­sor Mah­mood Yakubu as chair­man of the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC).

A state­ment signed by the na­tional chair­man of the party, Rev. Oluse­gun Peters, said that the need for a per­son with im­pec­ca­ble char­ac­ter de­void of con­tro­versy and par­ti­san­ship to lead the elec­toral um­pire can­not be over em­pha­sized.

The state­ment said the task ahead of INEC was enor­mous, main­tain­ing that it is a crit­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion in Nige­ria’s po­lit­i­cal process and there­fore urged to Sen­ate to con­firm the ap­point­ment of Yakubu so that he can swing into ac­tion.

A non-gov­ern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion, Sokoto In­di­genes Re­sid­ing in Abuja, has de­cried the non-in­clu­sion of the masses of the state in de­ci­sion mak­ing process es­pe­cially po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments and put the blame on the elite and god­fa­therism.

Leader of the group, Al­haji Abubakar Mo­hammed Abu Abuja, who spoke to re­porters on be­half of his mem­bers in Abuja, said the ma­jor­ity of Sokoto cit­i­zens are masses who have been marginal­ized in the scheme of things through the self­ish at­ti­tude of main stream politi­cians.

While ex­press­ing sup­port for Ha­jya Aisha Abubakar as the Sokoto state’s min­is­te­rial nom­i­nee in the Buhari ad­min­is­tra­tion, the group con­demned the de­scrip­tion of her nom­i­na­tion as in­jus­tice by APC lead­ers in Sokoto.

Abu Abuja said Pres­i­dent Buhari, who is well known for his self­less­ness and strict up­hold­ing of the law, is also well ex­pe­ri­enced on who to choose to as­sist him run his ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The State As­sem­bly Elec­tion Pe­ti­tions Tri­bunal sit­ting in Lokoja, yes­ter­day up­held the elec­tion of Al­haji Mo­mo­hJi­moh Lawal, Speaker of Kogi House of As­sem­bly as win­ner of the Okene II state con­stituency elec­tion.

The tri­bunal af­firmed the elec­tion in its judg­ment on a pe­ti­tion filed by Umar Fari of All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) chal­leng­ing the elec­tion and re­turn of Lawal of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) as win­ner of the elec­tion.

Umar had urged the tri­bunal to nul­lify the elec­tion of Lawal on the grounds of sub­stan­tial non-com­pli­ance with the pro­vi­sions of the Elec­toral Act, 2010 (As amended).

In the judg­ment of the three­mem­ber tri­bunal de­liv­ered by one of the mem­bers, Hon. Jus­tice Ak­in­tan Osadebe, it held that the April 11 elec­tion was con­ducted in sub­stan­tial com­pli­ance with the pro­vi­sions of the Elec­toral Act, 2010 (As amended).

The law­maker rep­re­sent­ing Lang­tang South in the Plateau State House of As­sem­bly), Mr Vin­cent Bu­lus, yes­ter­day said that he would ap­peal the tri­bunal judg­ment which nul­li­fied his elec­tion and black­listed him from con­test­ing elec­tions in Nige­ria.

The Na­tional and State House of As­sem­blies Elec­tions Pe­ti­tions Tri­bunal, Tues­day, banned the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party’s (PDP) Bu­lus from con­test­ing fu­ture elec­tions on grounds that he is an ex-con­vict.

The tri­bunal also or­dered the In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion to con­duct a fresh elec­tion into the seat within 90 days, in the judg­ment de­liv­ered in a pe­ti­tion filed by the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) can­di­date, Mr Jack­son Dan­ladi.

But Bu­lus told Daily Trust that he would head for the ap­peal court to chal­lenge the judg­ment.

A former pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the Na­tional Con­science Party (NCP), Chief Martin Onovo, has said that Nige­ri­ans should con­sider the pos­si­bil­ity of vot­ing an Igbo pres­i­dent in 2019 in the in­ter­est of jus­tice and fair-play.

Mr Onovo said in an in­ter­view with the Daily Trust yes­ter­day, that the Ig­bos had been rel­e­gated to the back­ground in the po­lit­i­cal schem­ing of the coun­try.

He noted that some po­lit­i­cal par­ties had fielded pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates of Igbo ex­trac­tion in the past, but re­gret­ted that the Ig­bos were not recog­nised de­spite be­ing one of the ma­jor eth­nic groups in the coun­try.

Pic NAN

From left: Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­bers, Igbo Lead­ers of Thoughts, Mr Jus­tice Onon­iba; Chair­man, Prof. Ben Nwabueze and Prof. Vin­cent Ike, dur­ing their meet­ing in Enugu yes­ter­day.

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