Mahmood Yakubu, the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has appealed to the National Assembly to pass the Electoral Act Amendment Bill latest by the first quarter of 2021.
He made the appeal on Thursday, November 26, 2020, when he appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
Yakubu appeared for his screening by the lawmakers following his reappointment as INEC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He informed the senators that passing the piece of legislation within the timeframe recommended was critical for the success of the 2023 general elections.
The former INEC chief noted that the nation’s electoral body had submitted several areas for amendments in the Electoral Act.
He stressed that it was extremely important for the electoral legal framework to be finalised in due time, saying INEC cannot conduct elections under uncertainty.
Yakubu, however, said INEC would continue to deepen the use of technology for elections and explore other ways in which the electoral process could benefit from technology.
He assured the lawmakers that the electoral umpire was working to ensure that materials needed for the elections were procured well ahead of time.
During the screening, the former INEC chief answered a series of questions from the lawmakers in a bid to return to the office he held for five years.
The Presidency announced Professor Yakubu’s reappointment as INEC chairman for another five-year term on October 27.
His reappointment is, however, subject to approval by the Senate.
Following the completion of his first term, Professor Yakubu handed over the leadership of INEC to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Muazu who has been acting as chairman of the commission since November 9.
He was first appointed by President Buhari to oversee the activities of the electoral umpire in November 2015, six months after the Nigerian leader assumed office.
Yakubu, who took over from Professor Attahiru Jega, was first appointed into office by President Buhari in November 2015.
Under him, INEC has conducted many elections, including the 2019 polls which saw the President extending his stay in office for another four years.
Members of the Senate considered the President’s request to confirm the reappointment of Professor Yakubu as INEC chairman on Wednesday.
The lawmakers later referred the President’s request to the Senate Committee on INEC for further legislative action and asked the senators to report back on Tuesday next week.