Presidency uses the constitution to defend INEC Chairman’s appointment

The Presidency insists that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of Amina Zakari as the acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, is constitutional.

Zakari’s appointment had been described as unconstitutional because her appointment as a National Commissioner of INEC expired on July 22.

However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in an interview with Punch newspapers, defended the President’s decision.

Adesina said the appointment of Zakari, was the President exercising his powers as provided in Sections 154 and 318 of the constitution.

He said the President was at liberty to appoint her even when her tenure had expired.

“The appointment is covered by Sections 154 and 318 of the constitution. The constitution empowers the President to appoint the woman in acting capacity. It also covers the appointment even if her tenure has expired,” Adesina said.

Section 154 of the constitution reads, “Except in the case of ex-officio members or where other provisions are made in this constitution, the chairman and members of any of the bodies so established shall, subject to the provisions of this constitution, be appointed by the President and the appointment shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.

“In exercising his powers to appoint a person as chairman or member of the Council of State or the National Defence Council or the National Security Council, the President shall not be required to obtain the confirmation of the Senate.

“In exercising his powers to appoint a person as chairman or member of the Independent National Electoral Commission, National Judicial Council, the Federal Judicial Service Commission or the National Population Commission, the President shall consult the Council of State.”

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