The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has allegedly intensified plots to instigate the National Assembly to pass a vote of no confidence which could lead to the suspension or removal of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
According to Saturday Sun, some politicians are uncomfortable with the INEC chairman’s insistence on wholly deploying technology in the conduct of the elections.
It was gathered that those opposed to Yakubu are putting pressure on some senators to recommend his suspension or removal to President Muhammadu Buhari.
They want the INEC chairman to jettison the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and the INEC Election Result Viewing Portal in next year’s general elections.
Naija News understands that the 1999 Constitution, as amended, stipulates that the President can only remove the INEC Chairman on the strength of a recommendation by the Senate.
The President will have to rely on the nod of two-thirds of members of the Senate, the nation’s highest law-making body to discipline INEC chairman.
Section 157 (1) of the Constitution states that “Subject to the provision of subsection (3) of this Removal Section, a person holding any of the offices to which this section applies may only be removed from that office by the president acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misconduct.”
Subsection 2 states: “This section applies to the office of the chairman and member of the Code of Conduct Bureau, the Federal Civil Service Commission, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the National Judicial Council, the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the Federal Character Commission, the Nigeria Police Force, the National Population Commission, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Police Service Commission.”
A source told The Sun that those opposed to Yakubu’s use of technology in the conduct of next year’s election want the Senate to initiate an inquiry on INEC preparation for the elections, with the view to finding fault in the whole process.
It was learnt that such conclusion would then give impetus to the recommendation for a change of the leadership of INEC, which could truncate the plan for use of BVAS and other technological devises that would forestall election rigging.
Sources said that the nomination and confirmation of suspected members of the ruling APC as Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) was part of the programme to infiltrate the electorate body and reduce Yakubu’s strength to insist on certain things.
It was gathered that the intention is to undermine INEC chairman and foist party members on the nation’s electoral umpire to checkmate him ahead of next year’s general elections.
Already, it was gathered that some strong figures in the Senate, who are threatened by the strength of their opponents, are being mobilised to support the move against Yakubu.