inec-bossActing Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Hajia Amina Bala Zakari, has pleaded for understanding from Nigerians, saying it is not humanly possible for her to detach herself completely from all her former acquaintances.
She spoke against the backdrop of increasing uproar over her past working relationship with President Muhammdu Buhari, former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, among other public officers.
Speaking during INEC Half Hour on Thursday, which was monitored on African Independent Television, Hajia Zakari, said it is unfair for anyone to insinuate that she will be bias in the discharge of her duties because she once worked closely with some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
According to her, she was appointed by two former Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, into various positions but noted that it did not influence the discharge of her duties.
While assuring Nigerians of her determination to discharge her duties as the head of the electoral body, Hajia Zakari pleaded with Nigerians to take her on her personal merit and what she can do as an independent person.
She allayed the fears of those kicking against her appointment saying even when she was appointed into INEC, she did not allow that to affect her duties as INEC Commissioner.
It would be recalled that she was appointed as INEC Acting Chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 30, there have been protests against her appointment because of her closeness to the President and the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.
Hajia Zakari worked with Buhari as a staff of Afri-Projects Consult when the President was the Chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, during the administration of late General Sani Abacha. She also worked under Obasanjo administration and the Federal Capital Territory Administration when El-Rufai was the FCT Minister.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been very vehement against her appointment as INEC boss on the grounds of her affinity to President Buhari and the Kaduna state governor.The party has also threatened to reject any election it loses if she superintends over the election.
Also, a legal practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has dragged her to court claiming that her continuation in office is a “constitutional aberration.”
The lawyer in explaining the reasons for his suit said: “On July 21, 2015, the statutory tenure of Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, as a member or commissioner of INEC, came to an end. She has not been re-appointed by the President upon due consultation with the Council of State and he re-appointment has not been communicated to the Senate for confirmation.”
“Consequently therefore, the presence of Mrs. Zakari in INEC, is a constitutional aberration that must not be allowed to continue. I have today, July 22, 2015, filed an action, at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos, to declare her appointment as Acting Chairman of INEC as illegal and unconstitutional, for her to vacate office immediately and for the court to restrain her from presiding over the conduct of any election in Nigeria, including the governorship elections of Kogi and Bayelsa States.

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