Professor Mahmood Yakubu has handed over his duties as chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He passed on the leadership mantle to an INEC National Commissioner, Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Muazu (rtd), on Monday at an event held at the headquarters of the electoral umpire in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Ahmed will act in that capacity pending when the Senate confirms the reappointment of Professor Yakubu as INEC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his remarks, Professor Yakubu informed those present at the event that the current INEC was inaugurated in three batches, in which he was sworn-in along with five national commissioners on November 9, 2015.
He noted that six more national commissioners were inaugurated on December 7, 2016, and another one on July 21, 2018.
The outgoing INEC chief described the commission as a constitutional body whose members were appointed for five years, and which may be renewed for a second and final term.
“This means that my tenure and that of the first set of five commissioners ends today,” he said.
Professor Yakubu added, “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, 9th November 2020, without confirmation by the Senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.”
The outgoing described INEC boss stated that pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining national commissioners resolved that Muazu would oversee the affairs of the electoral body.
“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 one of them,” he said.
Professor Yakubu thanked the staff of the commission and the Resident Electoral Commissioners for their support during his first term as INEC chairman.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced the INEC chairman’s reappointment in a statement dated October 27, 2020.