The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has describe as needless, the controversy over the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as head of its collation centre for the forthcoming presidential election.
The Director of Voter Education and Publicity, INEC, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, made this remark on Friday while speaking on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily.
Zakari was announced as the head of the committee in charge of the collation centre on Thursday when INEC inaugurated some committees for the coming election.
The appointment of Zakari has been criticized, particularly, by the leading opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
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She was described as the blood relation of the President Muhammadu Buhari who could influence the election to favour him.
But reacting to the controversy raised over the appointment, Osaze-Uzzi said: “That’s not an issue. It’s a needless controversy; not an issue at all.”
He explained that Zakari was appointed because she was in charge of welfare.
He pointed out that the collation committee was to be in charge of the physical structure of the International Conference Center (ICC), just as he stated that the chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, was the returning officer according to the law.
“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.
“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,” he said.