- Exposed: Details of her relationship with Buhari, el-Rufai
Following controversies that are already trailing President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointed of Hajia Amina Bala Zakari as the Acting chairman of INEC, there are strong indications that her possibility of being confirmed as INEC chairman is very remote.
The mounting opposition to her headship of INEC in substantive capacity is not unconnected with the controversies over her closeness to President Buhari, and several chieftains of the All progressives Congress, APC, including Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state.
Those against her appointment led by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had argued that she cannot be trusted to be fair to all parties, especially during elections, because of her link to partisan politicians.
Obviously worried by the opposition against her stay in office beyond late July when she is due to retire, some 13 small political parties were said to have been mobilized on Thursday to shore up support for her.
Hajia Amina Bala Zakari’s appointment as Acting chairman of INEC is believed to have been influenced by her previous employment by the Afri-Projects Consortium, which was the principal consultant to the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, when President Buhari was chairman of the Fund during the administration of late General Sani Abacha.
Under the controversial Afri-Projects Consortium that handled almost all the PTF projects, she was the Head of Health and Social Sector (1999-2001); Acting Head of Sector (1998-1999) and Senior Consultant/Chief Pharmacist (1997-2001)
Amina Zakari, a Pharmacist by profession hails from Jigawa State, was appointed by Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as Secretary Health and Human Services (equivalent to Commissioner at the state level) in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCDA from 2004 to 2006 when El-Rufai was the FCT Minister.
Prior to her appointment as Secretary Health and Human Services she worked closely with Mallam El-Rufai as Secretary Social Development and Acting Secretary, Agriculture and Rural Development.
Nigerian Pilot gathered from authoritative sources close to the presidency that President Buhari was taken aback by the protest by PDP to Hajia Zakari’s appointment and he would want to distance himself from any allegation that he planted his stooge in INEC to manipulate future elections.
With Amina Zakari almost certainly out of the race, the eminent Nigerians with impeccable character and unblemished records who are not card-carrying members of any political party being touted as possible successor of Prof Jega include Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau (SAN), Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd), Dr. Alex A. Izinyon (SAN) and Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN).
Also on the list is constitutional lawyers, Prof Itsey Sagay but the possibility of the senior legal practitioner succeeding Jega appears remote because of old age and stress associated with the electoral commission.
Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) is an indigene of Anambra State Nigeria, born on May 29, 1953 in Jos Plateau State. He had his primary school in Zixton Public Schhool Ozubulu, where he obtained his first school leaving certificate in 1964. Olisa Agbakoba proceeded to Hill Crest School, a predominantly white school, where he had his secondary education and obtained his West African School Certificate in the year 1973.
After his Secondary school, Olisa Agbakoba got admission to study Law in University of
Nigeria, Nsukka, where he also graduated in 1977. In 1978, he was called to bar. After his call to bar, he went to London where he did his Masters in Maritime Law.
In 1998, Agbakoba was conferred with the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
He was former president of the Nigerian Bar Association and co-founded the Civil Liberty Organization in Nigeria.
Agbakoba has also been a key leader in the country’s pro-democratic movement, and is the President of Afronet, an international NGO dedicated to furthering the human rights cause. He is also a Principal Partner and founder of Human Rights Law Services (HURILAWS) an NGO that specializes in advocacy and law.
Aside from human rights, his work in maritime law in Nigeria has been profound; he is the founder and first president of the Nigerian Shipping Chamber of Commerce, NCS.
A prolific writer, Agbakoba has several publications to his credit.
Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd)
Colonel Dangiwa Umar is a very vocal, fearless and highly detrabalized retired military office from Kebbi state. He was governor of Kaduna from August 1985 to June 1988 during the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. After retiring from the army in 1993, he became a social critic and the founder of Movement for Unity and Progress.
Umar was born on 21 September 1949 in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State. Umar joined the Nigerian Army in 1967 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in March 1972. He held various positions, including General Staff Officer in the Department of Armour, Army Headquarters.
In 1993 he was Colonel and Commander of the Armoured Corps Center and School. He was opposed to the annulment of the 12 June 1993 presidential election believed to have been won by late Chief M.K.O Abiola. , In October 1993 he was detained on suspicion of conspiracy, but was not charged. After being released he resigned his commission.
ALEX IZINYON (SAN)
Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) is the principal partner and the head of chambers of Alex A. Izinyon SAN and Company, established on August 5, 1987. He has vast experience, which covers all aspect of law ranging from simple contractual documentation to the most intricate and complex legal matters. His vast knowledge and skill has led to his engagement as legal adviser to several organizations, parastatals, banks, commercial institutions, and various State Governments in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Dr. Izinyon, SAN obtained his PhD in arbitration in 2004 from the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. He had his LL.M from the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1991.
He was called to the Nigerian Bar after he received his B.L from the Nigeria Law School at Lagos and LL.B from University of Ibadan in 1985 and 1986 respectively. As a result of his vast experience and outstanding contributions to legal development in Nigeria, he was conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1999. He was the very first Senior Advocate in Nigeria among practicing legal practitioners to be so appointed in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria. He is also a Notary Public of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He has been engaged in giving expert opinion on several bills in the process of law making in the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The National Assembly approached him to draft the ELECTORAL BILL 2006.
He is a renowned publisher of legal books and literature. He was a lecturer at the University of Abuja between 1994–2000.
He is a versatile Constitutional lawyer and consultant. He has conducted several celebrated, intractable, and landmark cases in Nigeria. He has several books, articles, and publications to his credit.
Y. C. Maikyau (SAN)
Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, gained national prominence about 14 years ago during the Oputa Panel where he fearured prominently as the voice of the voiceless and oppressed.
An indigene of Zuru in Kebbi state, Maikyau graduated from Ahmadu Bello University in 1989. Attended the Nigerian Law School between 1989 and 1990 and was admitted as Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in December, 1990.
He began his carrier in Private Law practice with the Law firm of Danladi Bamaiyi and Company, where he rose to become the Head of Chambers.
He resigned on the 6th of August, 2003 to continue practice under the name of Y. C Maikyau and Company as the Principal Counsel.
On 7th of July 2011, he was conferred with the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee and sworn in on the 26th of August, 2011.
He obtained Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration, in June 2014 from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London, United Kingdom and presently a Fellow of the Institute.
Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN)
Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, (SAN) was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986, enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria the same year. He was appointed Notary Public in June 1996 and became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 1998.
Gadzama’s professional experience started in 1986 as a Legal Trainee in the Attorney-General’s Chambers in Kano State. From there he became a Solicitor and Advocate with A. Ismail Gadzama & Co. (Solicitors & Advocates) Kano from 1986-1988. He established the firm of J-K Gadzama & Partners LLP in 1989 and has remained the Founding and Principal Partner till date. He was also admitted into the Lincoln’s Inn on the 9th day of October, 2008. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK and a Centre For Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) Accredited Mediator.
Gadzama’s professional experience spans a vast area of adjectival and procedural law. He has been external Solicitor to several Merchant, Commercial, Development and Industrial Banks; adviser to major multinational corporations and indigenous companies and organizations and network individuals in Nigeria.
He is a very active member of the Nigerian Bar Association and has served the association in various capacities over the years.
He is also a member of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF); Captain, IBB International Golf and Country Club 2004-2005; Member of Ikoyi Club, Kaduna Golf Club, Rayfield Golf Club Jos, Kano Club and Trustee of Lake Chad Club, Maiduguri.