Why 2019 election budget estimates are delayed, by INEC boss
• Senators mum as rumour of Saraki’s impeachment plot thickens
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) told the Senate yesterday that the budget estimates of the 2019 election is being delayed until the National Assembly approves the revised Electoral Act.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, who provided reasons for the delay at a meeting with the Senate Committee on INEC, however explained that the total budgetary figure of the commission for the 2019 general election was still being compiled.
According to him, the exact amount of money the 2019 general election will cost the commission across the 119,999 polling units in the country can only be arrived at, after the passage of electoral act by the National Assembly.
“It is the provisions of the amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act after its approval by the National Assembly that will show the commission how elections at primary level by the political parties would be conducted and monetary cost that would be required on the part of INEC, let alone the general elections.”
Meanwhile the Senate Committee has screened additional eight nominees as Resident Electoral Commissioners.
Among those screened yesterday were Dr. Usman Ajidagba from Kwara State; Baba Yusuf Abba from Borno State; Segun Agbaje from Ekiti State; Yahaya Bello from Nasarawa State, Mohammed Magaji Ibrahim from Gombe.
Also, the high mortality rate of staffers of INEC was being reported to the Senate. 85 out of the 16,000 workforce of the electoral body were said to have died in 2017 alone.
Yakubu made disclosure of the tragic incidents in response to a question from the committee led by Senator Suleiman Nazif on why budgetary provisions were made for sickbay at the headquarters of the electoral body in Abuja.
Meanwhile, there were indications yesterday that the plot to remove Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki may be real as its rumour became thicker around the National Assembly.
Just last week, Senator Isa Misau, an All Progressives Congress (APC), member from Bauchi State, alleged that a particular minister had been appointed to co-ordinate the impeachment project.
Misau, did not however name the minister involved.
But yesterday morning just before the session commenced, lawmakers were seen in small clusters discussing in low tones on the alleged plot.
Senate spokesman, Aliu Saabi Abdullahi, could not be reached for comments and no senator was willing to speak about the plot but there were claims that meetings have been held and key players have been named on the roles they are expected to play.
“So far, those we hear were contacted to support and spearhead the project are not ready to be committed to the plot. So, I don’t even know how anybody will think a presiding officer can just be removed like that in the National Assembly,” a lawmaker who volunteered scanty information off record said.
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