Skip to main content

Former Resident Electoral Commissioners Lament Poor Welfare, Corruption Under Yakubu-led Nigerian Electoral Commission, INEC

September 30, 2022

They also alleged that most of those nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace them are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress and have “questionable character.”

Some of the 20 Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission whose tenures recently came to an end have accused the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu of not treating them well.


They also alleged that most of those nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace them are members of the ruling All Progressives Congress and have “questionable character.”


One of the asked why the Chairman of a commission they worked with for five years could not convey a meeting to say goodbye to them.


“What this man (Yakubu) did to us by not treating us justly and not giving to us even the old vehicle that we inherited and used for five years is contrary to chapter 16 verse 90 of the Quran where Allah commands justice, doing of good and giving to kith and kin what they deserved,” he said.


Speaking on the shoddy and less than transparent manner the outcome of party primaries had been mismanaged, the source said “Allah will visit its wraths on all those who are trying to unjustly deprive (Bashir) Machina of his victory, particularly INEC leadership that swore an oath of neutrality to be fair yet engages in deception.


“Allah in verse 94 of the same chapter 16 says that Muslim faithful must not use their oath to practice deception...It is totally un-Islamic according to the Holy Quran.”


A Director in the commission also accused Yakubu of creating a bad precedent by not having a formal farewell meeting with the outgoing RECs, who worked with him for a period of five years.


The source said, “This was unlike the commission’s leadership under Professor Attahiru Jega who conveyed a special ceremonial disengagement event at the La Meridien Resort Hotel where he thanked all the National Commissioners and RECs for the good job of the successful conduct of the 2015 elections by also giving them letters of commendation.


“The commission in recognition of the fact that a Commissioner in INEC after serving for a whole five years or ten years leaves the system basically with nothing, which is why some try to get whatever they could by compromising the process. The Professor Jega-led commission decided to auction to the Commissioners old vehicles they used for five years while serving.


“These are people who have made contributions to improvements of the electoral process either as national and Resident Electoral Commissioners, who steered elections at different levels. Professor Mahmoud Yakubu's leadership is gradually setting a bad precedent in INEC by not only refusing to defend in court the report of primaries its offices monitored, but also how he has treated with disdain those who have worked with him for five years, a number of them also spent ten years.


“Except for a few that were acclaimed with plaudits in their states of deployment, INEC leadership shockingly shunned RECs whose tenure ended as most of them recently left their post unceremoniously. Professor Yakubu has executed an aloof, placid and uneventful exit for colleagues he worked with him, some of whom he met in the Commission as well as some he came with to the Commission.


“Whereas Professor Jega offered his colleagues a commendable exit. Though qualified for a second term, he voluntarily offered to quit honourably, a man whose integrity, rectitude and impartiality brought about the emergence of Buhari to regime (sic) that is turning INEC to the so-called State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECs) under the control and direction of state governors.


“Professor Jega gave his colleagues a dignified exit of commendation farewells. Professor Yakubu has set a precedent of unsung exit to RECs that will impel bad eggs who will find themselves in the driving seat of election superintendents into compromising elections for short-term gains. A development that corrupts elections where they willingly sell the electoral will of voters to the highest buyers.


“Even though some electoral commissioners did not deserve any accolades due to some disgraceful conduct, however, those who display exemplary conduct deserve a place of honour for helping to restore credibility to the electoral process which declined to a very low level in 2007.


“Since 2011, advocacy for electoral reform has brought incremental changes in the governance of elections in Nigeria steered by men and women who had ensured a steady return to democratic norms. Whereas several among their ranks fell prey to the bad influences of political actors, many of them maintained respectful credibility allowing for overall credible outcomes despite some glitches.


“Professor Jega whose team was widely acclaimed for such higher standards that still needed improvements, therefore, commended those who worked with him to achieve the electoral improvements that returned credibility to the process albeit with baby steps. It was with such expectations therefore that Nigerians are stunned that, unlike his predecessor, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu-led leadership offered no commendation nor goodbye to his colleagues whose tenure ended in INEC.”