Moves to Stop Yakubu’s Reappointment as INEC Chair Thicken, HDP Files Suit Restraining Senate

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu

By Chuks Okocha

One of the de registered political parties, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), has filed a suit in the Federal High Court seeking to restrain the Senate from screening Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as a second term chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The suit filed November 12 is before Justice Iyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court 5 in Abuja.

According to a statement signed by Auwal Abdullahi, for the National Chairman of the deregistered Hope Democratic Party, the party wants Senate restrained because the reappointment of Prof. Yakubu did not follow due process and dictates of the 1999 constitution

According to the deregistered party, the reappointment of Prof. Yakubu did not follow the letters of section 154 (3) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended).

The section of the constitution says, “In exercising his powers to appoint a person as Chairman or member of the Independent National Electoral Commission, National Judicial Council, the Federal Judicial Service Commission or the National Population Commission, the President shall consult the Council of State”.

But the party said that there was no record of the meeting of the Council of State where the reappointment of Prof Yakubu was discussed and approval given.

HDP files action against Senate President to restrain any confirmation of former INEC Chairman (Prof. Mahmood Yakubu) until full probe and account of previous term in Office.

The originating summons filed along with motions seeks among others the following reliefs: “A declaration that any Senate confirmation exercise involving the 3rd Defendant (Prof. Mahmmod Yakubu) not including Constitutional requirement for proper scrutiny and audit of records and reports of previous reported low performances to ascertain if he is a person of unquestionable integrity for the purpose of engendering and promoting good government
and fight against corruption is ultra vires its constitutional duties, and abuse of its powers and void.

“An order restraining the 1st & 2nd Defendants from considering or confirming the 3rd Defendant (Prof. Mahmmod Yakubu) without public scrutiny, audit/probe of reported poor
performances and lack of accountability of budgeted and donated funds (of 2019 General Election)

“And without first passing into law the long outstanding electoral reform bills frustrated under the 3rd Defendant last term in office to prevent exposing the nation to further negative electoral misfortune, mistrust and perceptions of a chaotic and unstable polity”, the originating summons stated. .

No date has been fixed for the hearing presently.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 27 2020 reappointed Professor Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for another five-year term.
This disclosure was made by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement titled, ‘President Buhari nominates Prof Yakubu as INEC chairman for a second term in office’.

The statement had read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has presented the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.’

Prof Yakubu has since November 9 stepped aside pending his confirmation by the Senate. He handed over the affairs of the commission to AVM Ahmed Muazu as acting chairman.
The new acting chairman will serve in an acting capacity pending the confirmation of Yakubu’s re-nomination or otherwise by the Senate.