the Independent National Electoral Commission, on Monday confirmed the resignation of a National Commissioner, Abubakar Nahuche.
His resignation was announced a few minutes after the INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, handed over to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu (retd), to oversee the affairs of the commission.
Yakubu is standing down for Senate screening and possible confirmation for a second five-year term.
INEC National Commissioner and chairman (Information and Voter Education Committee), Festus Okoye, confirmed Nahuche’s resignation in a short text message.
He said, “INEC National Commissioner and chairman, Estate, Works and Transport Committee, representing North West, Engr. Abubakar Nahuche, resigned his appointment for personal reasons and the President has accepted his resignation and thanked him for his services to the nation.”
Five National Commissioners also retired from service during the brief handover ceremony held at the Conference Room at INEC Headquarters, Abuja.
The retirees are Hajiya Amina Zakari, Prof. Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine, Alhaji Baba Arfo, Dr Mohammed Lecky and Prince Adedeji Solomon Soyebi.
A new Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu, representing Abia State, assumed office during the event.
Until his appointment, the REC now deployed to Ebonyi State, was a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
In an address to mark the end of his first term in office, Yakubu expressed gratitude to his colleagues for their support.
He said, “As you are already aware, the renewal of my tenure as Chairman of the commission has been announced, subject to confirmation by the Senate. 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 (Monday) November 9 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 (retd) will oversee the affairs of the commission.”
Meanwhile, one of our correspondents gathered that the Senate which has adjourned plenary till November 24, to enable members work on the 2021 budget, will not reconvene to screen and confirm Yakubu for his second term.
A reliable source in the Senate Committee on INEC, who pleaded not to be named, said, “President Buhari’s letter came when we had already adjourned plenary. We won’t reconvene because of that.
“The matter would be treated when we reconvene on November 24. There is nothing urgent about it and no vacuum would be created before we resume plenary.”
When contacted, the Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said, “I don’t have any information regarding that. We are still busy with the budget.”