The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has reacted to criticisms that met the appointment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s niece, Amina Zakari as head of its collation centre for the forthcoming presidential election.
While the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and many other political parties have rejected the appointment, the development has caused outrage on social media.
It is believed that Mrs Zakari is a blood relation of President Buhari and had shown bias in past elections.
Reacting to this on Friday while speaking on Channel Television’s Sunrise Daily, the director of voter education and publicity at INEC, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said Mrs Zakari’s role as head of the collection center committee has nothing to do with actual collation of votes.
He added that only the chairman of INEC, who is the returning officer for presidential election, decides the validity of votes.
“The chairman of INEC by virtue of the Electoral Act is the returning officer of the country for the presidential election. It is he who decides the validity of votes and any issues in the election,” he said.
“The committee is primarily in charge of welfare. 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.”
The PDP without substantial claims rejected the appointment of Zakari, who had been INEC’s national commissioner in charge of welfare and health.
The Coalition of United Political Party (CUPP) also released a statement rejecting her appointment and demanding her removal.