*Council Appoints 5 New National Commissioners…Soyebi for South-west
By Ibidapo Balogun
It emerged on Wednesday afternoon that Mrs. Amina Zakari, the controversial acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), will not lead the commission into the conduct of Kogi and Bayelsa governorship polls after all.
Ater he seemed unfazed about the criticisms trailing Mrs. Zakari’s appointment as acting INEC chair, President Muhammadu Buhari has now appointed Professor Mahmud Yakubu as INEC boss.
Yakubu’s appointment was approved by the Council of State, which met on Wednesday in Abuja.
Yakubu is a Professor of Political History and International Studies. He was Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
He is also an expert in guerrilla warfare, terrorism and counter-terrorism.
Sokoko State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who briefed State House Correspondents, after the meeting, said the appointment of the new INEC boss was in line with relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution and in consultation with the Council of State.
The Council of States also appointed five new National Commissioner for INEC. Mrs Zakari is now the INEC Commissioner representing the North-West while Chief Solomon Adedeji Soyebi is for South-west. Soyebi had also earlier served as National Commissioner.
Professor Yakubu’s nomination as INEC chairman would also have to be confirmed by the Senate, which is at present screening ministerial nominees.
Mrs. Zakari has held the position in acting capacity since June 2015 when Professor Attahiru Jega completed his tenure.
Zakari would have become the first woman to be appointed a substantive chairman of Nigeria’s topmost election body.