By Chuks Okocha
One of the deregistered political parties, the Hope Democratic Party (HDP), has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking to restrain the Senate from screening Prof. Mahmood Yakubu for a second term as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The suit filed on November 12 is before Justice Iyang Ekwo.
According to a statement signed by Auwal Abdullahi, for the National Chairman of the deregistered HDP, the party wants the court to restrain the Senate from confirming Yakubu, arguing his reappointment did not follow due process and dictates of the 1999 Constitution.
According to the deregistered party, the reappointment of Yakubu did not follow the letters of section 154 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The section of the constitution said, “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 ask the court to restrain the Senate President from confirming Yakubu until a full probe and account of previous term in office has been conducted.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on October 27, 2020 reappointed Professor Yakubu as Chairman of INEC for another five-year term.
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 (rtd) 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.