News

February 14, 2019

Withdraw letter to INEC, Agbakoba tells Malami

Agbakoba

Agbakoba

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

Civil rights activist, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to rebuff the letter from Mr. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice seeking to postpone the election in Zamfara State.

*Agbakoba

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The letter raised controversy because the letter came from the AGF, a statutory office in the constitution who is also a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which had been restricted from participating in elections in the state on account of the party’s failure to conclude its primaries according to schedule.

Malami had asked INEC to postpone the elections in the state so that the APC could prepare well for the elections. The APC is presently the ruling party in the state.

In the letter dated February 14, Agbakoba asked Malami to withdraw his letter, on the note that it undermines the president’s commitment to a transparent electoral system.

“I am shocked by your letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the above subject. You are the Attorney General of the Federation and not the Attorney General of INEC,” Agbakoba said.

“INEC is an independent institution and cannot take directives from the Federal Government. If there is need for the postponement of the Zamfara state elections as indicated in your letter, the proper person to request the postponement is the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“In any case, Sections 38 and 39 of the Electoral Act 2010 which your request is based on have nothing to do with postponement of elections.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has at various fora undertaken that the Federal Government will not interfere with INEC. Your letter puts that commitment to question.

“It is my hope that this letter will be immediately withdrawn.”

Agbakoba similarly wrote the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, , asking him to disregard Malami’s letter.

In the letter to Yakubu, Agbakoba said:

“INEC is an independent institution and should not take directives from the Attorney General of the Federation or the Federal Government,” he told INEC.

“If there is need for the postponement of the Zamfara state elections, the proper person to request the postponement is the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“In any case, Sections 38 and 39 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which the Attorney General’s request is based on have nothing to do with postponement of elections.

“INEC should disregard the Attorney General’s letter.”