The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, on Friday met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari. The meeting was held behind closed doors inside Kyari’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes. The agenda of the meeting was not made public.
Yakubu did not speak with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting. The Presidency also has yet to issue a statement on the meeting as of the time of filing this report. The meeting was however held barely 24 hours after the electoral commission published the names of presidential candidates contesting the 2019 election and their details.
President Muhammadu Buhari will be seeking a second term on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress. The President, a former military ruler, had claimed in his details published by INEC that his credentials were with the Secretary of the Military Board.
Since the claim was made public, it has been generating controversy the same way it did when Buhari made the same claim ahead of the 2015 presidential election which he won. Some of his supporters had at the time said even if he presented “NEPA bill” in lieu of credentials, they would still vote for him against the then President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Jonathan lost that election to Buhari. But in the 2019 election, Buhari’s main challenger is former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.
INEC Chairman Reacts To Buhari’s WAEC Certificate Saga
The chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, has advised Nigerian to take legal actions against any candidate whose qualification for 2019 general election is in doubt. Mahmood stated this few hours after INEC released credentials of presidential aspirants in the 2019 election.
While Donald Duke (SDP) and Atiku Abubakar (PDP) had submitted their educational credentials to INEC, President Muhammadu Buhari – in an affidavit – told the electoral umpire that his academic documents are in custody of the Secretary of the Military Board.
But, addressing journalists at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on Friday, October 26, 2018, Mahmood noted that Nigerians wishing to file legal actions against any candidate can before it is too late.
“Any person with reasonable ground to believe that any information on form CF001 submitted by a candidate contains incorrect or false claims is at liberty to file an action against such candidate at the federal high court or the high court of a state or FCT,” the INEC chairman said.
“While the current exercise is limited to candidates for presidential and national assembly elections, the personal particulars of those contesting in governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will be published on November 9, 2018, one week after the close of submission of nominations by political parties,” he added.
The INEC chairman urged Nigerians to verify details of those seeking to represent them at various elective positions.