The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for a second and final term of five (5) years.
Yakubu who was confirmed after the consideration of a report by the Committee on INEC during plenary, received the support of Senators belonging to the Minority Peoples Democratic Party.
Chairman of the INEC Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC – Kano South), in his presentation said that the Committee was not in receipt of any petition or incriminating reports against the nominee.
According to him, the nominee possessed the requisite educational qualification for the position of Chairman; and is a person of integrity who is not affiliated to any political party.
Speaking on the character of the nominee, Senator Sandy Onor (PDP – Cross River North) said, “today, as a Senate, we are recognizing the fact that there is a square peg in a square hole.
“This Professor sitting in INEC has demonstrated competence, and has shown indeed, that he is an unbiased umpire.
“Today, politicians don’t go into elections scared of whether they’ll be oppressed or not. That is the reality.
“If you’re with your people and doing the needful, you can trust that you will go to the field and win your elections. That is the kind of situation we have always asked for.
“I do believe that going by his performance in the first term, that he would do even better in his second term,” the lawmaker said.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP – Delta North), on his part said, “Mr. President, two days ago, I read in the papers that PDP Senators were opposed to the nomination of the nominee, and that today was going to be hot.
“But I’m very happy that majority of the people who have spoken on the floor today are PDP Senators supporting this nomination.
“That is to show that the belief or what people thought was going to happen, did not happen. We have disappointed those who thought we are going to oppose this nomination.”
“Many of us have tried to see if we can link him to any political party, or any political association, and we have not found anything to the contrary. That shows that he is an unbiased umpire that is good and qualified,” he added.
Another PDP lawmaker, Gabriel Suswam representing Benue North East, described the nominee as a person of sound character and integrity.
“Like other colleagues have said, the nominee has shown competence; he has shown integrity and an unbiased nature, because in the past, most INEC Chairmen have had to go through criticisms, especially from opposing parties.
“There is no person in the opposing party (PDP), who will oppose the nomination and confirmation of this man today, because he has shown credibility in the process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the confirmation of appointment of Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The request was contained in a letter dated 27th November, 2020, and read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The nominees billed for confirmation are: Professor Sani Muhammad Adam, Commissioner (North Central); and Dr. Baba Bila, Commissioner (North East).
According to the President, the request was made pursuant to Paragraph 14 of Part I(F) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).