The Independent National Electoral Commission is insisting on implementing its planned scheduled timetable presented to the public before the enactment of reordering of sequence that intends to affect its schedule which both chambers of the National Assembly had passed paving way for it to be altered.
The electoral body, before the enactments coming from national Assembly’s reordering of its sequence, has in its plans, to hold the 2019 presidential and national Assembly election same day while governorship and state legislators will hold come next week. The sequence change coming from national assembly, however, opposed the initial plan of the electoral body. In its own enactments, it, however, made provisions for election of National Assembly to hold first whilst the presidential election comes last.
It is on this telling, the independent National Electoral Commission’s chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu at its quarterly consultative meeting with the media in Abuja on Monday insists that its 2019 timetable still stands as against the National Assembly's Enactments
However, the INEC boss said the commission would continue to prepare for elections based on its own schedule since it could not make plans based on speculation.
When asked if the electoral body would challenge the matter in court, the INEC boss said when the time comes the commission would take a decision.
Yakubu said, “There are many ‘ifs’ but here, we deal with certainty. As far as the commission is concerned, there is no legal lacuna at the moment. What we have done is on the basis of the existing law and nothing has changed.
“If the bill is accented to, we will look at the provisions and inform Nigerians on the next step. But as far as the commission is concerned at the moment, we are operating under the existing law and we have issued a timetable for the activities accordingly.
“If something happens tomorrow, we will examine it and proceed accordingly.”
The INEC boss said the budget for the 2019 elections had been drafted based on its own sequence and timetable.
He said the proposal would soon be transmitted to the National Assembly for approval.
“Right now, the draft is on my table based on the current schedule of activities. Thereafter, we will submit it to the approving authorities,” Yakubu said.
When asked what had happened to the 205 INEC officials that were suspended after being indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly receiving bribes during the 2015 elections, Yakubu said he was still waiting for the EFCC to take action.
He noted that most of the officials had not been prosecuted by the anti-graft agency, adding that he had written to the EFCC to act quickly.