Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Aminat Zakari, has denied reports that she is an in-law to President Muhammadu Buhari as being alleged in some quarters.
Zakari who spoke in Abuja on Friday, said, “I can’t say the General (Buhari) is my in-law. I am not married to his son. My daughter is not married to him. That is what I understand about being an in-law, but obviously, in life, you have acquaintances, people you have known.”
She added that Buhari was not known for nepotism, and that “God decides who becomes (a) leader; if God decides I would be the one to continue, I will have to do my best.”
She stated, “I did not lobby for it (acting chairmanship). I had packed all my things out of INEC; I wanted to leave on the 30th (of June).
“I was just called on my way home as the chairman (Jega) handed over to Ambassador Wali. When I was called that the Head of Service was looking for me and I said, ‘what for?’ and I just continued driving. I was by Bullet House by the time I got the call and I just continued driving”.
Zakari dismissed insinuations that she could not effectively perform as INEC Chairman because of her gender, noting, that she was not desperate to retain the job in a substantive capacity.
She stated, “I am a human being first. I have the capacity. If I have the ability to do something and there are ways and means of achieving your targets. You don’t rely on your brain alone. You have other people to rely on. I have done administration. I have worked in organisations that demand accountability.”
The INEC acting chairman explained that she was not appointed commissioner in INEC by Buhari, adding that former President Goodluck Jonathan had appointed her.
She also disclosed that the commission had sent some staff from its headquarters to Rivers State to assist in sorting out documents demanded by the state electoral tribunal.
Zakari confirmed that security agents and INEC had received petitions against some RECs, but refused to give the number and identities of the commissioners involved.
According to her, the commission is awaiting reports of the police investigations into bribery allegations against some resident electoral commissioners and other staff of the commission.
Reacting to bribery allegations against some RECs, she stated, “Everybody makes allegations about bribery, or about somebody being bribed. Anybody can make the allegation, unless it’s proven by the security agencies or the court, INEC does not take action”, she said.
Speaking on those that had been picked up by the security agencies, she stated, “Unless they (security agencies) give us anything in writing, we just leave it as it is until their investigations are over.”
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears
Join the conversation
Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism
Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.
If you are motivated and passionate about building a global society, founded on justice, equity, fairness, transparency, accountability and superior knowledge, kindly consider donating to Ripples Nigeria’s solutions journalism.
Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.
INVESTIGATION: Inside UNILAG’s multi-million naira budgetary abuse and academic discord
The University of Lagos located in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, has been embroiled in controversies with allegations bothering on misappropriation of...
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...