The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Friday declared that it would not drop Hajiya Amina Zakari as chairperson of the 2019 Elections Results Collation Committee.
It said that contrary to fears in some quarters, Zakari, who is alleged to be a niece to the President, will have nothing to do with the collation of the presidential poll results.
It said by law, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmud Yakubu is the Chief Electoral Commissioner and Returning Officer for the Presidential Election.
Yakubu, according to the commission, cannot and will not delegate his responsibility as the Returning Officer to anyone no matter the circumstance.
The position of INEC was made known by its Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi in an interview with our correspondent.
“We cannot and we won’t drop Amina Zakari as the chairperson of the Collation Centre Management Committee.
“She is only in charge of a committee to prepare the facility for the collation of results,” Osaze-Uzzi said.
“She was also very involved in negotiating with the ICC management in 2015 for the use of the facility so her duty is to ensure the facility is ready.
“She has no role whatsoever with the process of collation of results.
“The job of the chairperson and other members is to make sure that the centre is conducive with internet access for INEC officials, representatives of political parties, international and local observers.
“The committee has nothing to do with the process of compiling results.
“They are just blowing the scope of the committee out of proportion. It’s a needless controversy; not an issue at all.”
Responding to a question, Osaze-Uzzi said: “By law, the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu will superintend over the collation of results. He cannot assign the responsibility and he has not assigned the responsibility to anybody.
“He is going to be in charge of collation of results. It is he who decides the validity of votes and any issues in the election as the Returning Officer.
“INEC wants to reassure Nigerians that its chairman as the Chief Electoral Officers will be assisted by trusted Nigerians who he will appoint as collation officers in all the states.”