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INEC Chairman: Commission Lacks Constitutional Power to Conduct LG Elections

INEC lacks power to conduct LG elections - Mahmood Yakubu
Mahmood Yakubu

Professor Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has stated that the commission has no constitutional authority to conduct local council elections, except in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Speaking at a two-day induction retreat for INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Lagos, Yakubu emphasized that the commission’s powers are limited to organizing national and state elections, unless necessary constitutional amendments are made.

Yakubu’s comments come amidst calls for INEC to take over the conduct of local government elections, currently the responsibility of State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs). Proponents of this change argue that it would ensure independence and transparency in local government elections, which have been marred by irregularities and allegations of state governors hijacking local councils’ allocations.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has also advocated for the scrapping of SIECs and the transfer of their functions to INEC.

However, Yakubu stressed that any changes to the commission’s responsibilities would require constitutional amendments, which are not currently in place. For now, INEC will continue to conduct elections only in the FCT, where it has successfully organized regular local council elections.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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