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Senate confirms 7 nominees as INEC Commissioners

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman

By Kingsley Okoye

Abuja, Feb.2,2022

Senate has confirmed seven nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari as National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The confirmation of the nominees on Wednesday at plenary followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on INEC.

Those confirmed include: Mohammed Haruna (Niger – North Central, National Commissioner), Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu (Delta – South South, National Commissioner), Ukeagu Kenneth Nnamdi (Abia – South East, National Commissioner), and Maj. Gen A. B. Alkali (Rtd) – Adamawa (North East, National Commissioner).

Others are Prof. Rhoda Gumus (Bayelsa – South South, National Commissioner), Mr. Sam Olumekun (Ondo – South West, National Commissioner) and Olaniyi Ijalaye (Ondo – South West, Resident Commissioner).

The committee Chairman, Sen. Kabiru Gaya, (APC-Kano), in his presentation, recalled that the confirmation request was made by Buhari in compliance with the provision of Section 153(1)(f) of the constitution, and pursuant to the provision of Section 154(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

He disclosed that the committee received a petition from the Taraba Elders Forum against the nomination of retired Maj. Gen. A. B. Alkali over what the forum called inconsistency in the rotation of the nomination.

According to Gaya, the forum pointed out that the nomination started from Taraba (2003 – 2008), Adamawa (2008 – 2015) and ended with  Gombe (2015 – 2021).

He said that petitioners observed that it was the turn of Taraba to produce the nominee in line with the principle of rotation.

Gaya, however, explained that the committee resolved that all the states (Taraba, Adamawa and Gombe) had been nominated between 2003 and 2021, therefore, it was the prerogative of the President to pick his nominee from any of the three states.

Senators, including the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege and James Manager, spoke highly of the competence and credibility of President’s nominees.

President of Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the nominees were confirmed, congratulated them while noting that the 2023 General Elections would be a “baptism of fire” to test their efficiency.

Lawan said the National Assembly would support the electoral body to ensure the conduct of free and transparent elections in 2023.

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