Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has called upon President Bola Tinubu to dismiss Mahmoud Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Agbakoba, in a statement released on Thursday, emphasized that the 61-year-old INEC chief should either resign or be removed from his position, as his continued presence would obstruct electoral reforms in Nigeria.
According to a statement from his Media Assistant, Niyi Odunmorayo, Agbakoba praised the President for successfully replacing Godwin Emefiele as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and AbdulRasheed Bawa as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The senior lawyer said, “Full congratulations go to President Tinubu for getting rid of Emefiele and Bawa and fuel subsidy and forex corruption. Endemic corruption has suffered a massive blow.
“Next is for the president to dismantle INEC. Everyone will agree that logistically, the 2023 elections are the worst in our history. I do not refer to the merits of the results of the elections. Many results are disputed and are in Tribunals. Both petitioners and respondents suffered at the hands of an incompetent INEC.
“As we await rulings from the courts massive reforms of the electoral framework ought to begin but this means that the INEC Chairman will have to leave office by resignation or removal, otherwise the reform task will be impeded.
“I add very quickly that the suggested reforms have nothing to do with the merits of election results at all. Both winners and losers of the elections were victims of the failure of INEC. Confidence in Nigeria’s democracy will be enhanced by a deep cleansing of INEC.”
Following the supervision of the 2015 general elections by Attahiru Jega, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Yakubu as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in November 2015. Later, in October 2020, Buhari made the decision to reappoint Yakubu as the head of the electoral commission.