The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has lost a national commissioner. He is Prof. Akinola Murtala Salau from Oyo State, representing the South West/
He died on Saturday at the Nigerian-Turkish Hospital, Abuja after some illness and would be buried later today (Sunday) in Ibadan, his hometown, according to Islamic rites.
The news of his demise has thrown some INEC staff members who have heard about it at its national headquarters Abuja and in Ibadan into mourning.
The professor had been battling a terminal illness for some time now. He was said to have had a lung ailment.
Prof. Salau was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan and inaugurated on January 6, 2015. Until his death, he was the newest commissioner in INEC.
His nomination into INEC was tempestuous. He was nominated three times by former President Jonathan before he was eventually inaugurated.
President Jonathan first nominated him in May 2013 to be the second National Commissioner for the South-west but his nomination was withdrawn in a letter to the Senate by the President under suspicious circumstances. This may have been due to some petitions against his nomination.
With his demise and the end of Prof. Lai Olurode’s tenure at INEC, the South-west has no National Commissioner in INEC.
Prof. Salau was former Vice Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Osun State. He also previously worked at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Former INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, would have handed over to Prof. Salau on June 30 when he bowed out of the commission being the commissioner that has the longest remaining time to spend at INEC but for his illness.
After the 2015 general elections, during a retreat by INEC in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, at which the commission sent off some of its outgoing National Commissioners and state Resident Electoral Commissioners, Prof. Salau had collapsed and was rushed to the hospital.