Following the expiration of their five-year tenure, the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, OFR, who hails from Kebbi state, (North West geopolitical zone) is to bow out of the Commission next week Tuesday, 30th June 2015, with six National Commissioners.
The other six National Commissioners whose tenures expire on the same day are: Col. M.K. Hammanga (Rtd), Adamawa state, (North East); Dr Ishmael Jikiri Igbani, Rivers state, (South South); Prof. Lai Olurode, Osun state, (South West); Dame Gladys Nne Nwafor, Abia state, (South East); Mrs Thelma Amata Iremiren, Delta state, (South South); and Engr. Dr. Nuru A. Yakubu, OON, Yobe state, (North East). They were inaugurated by former President Goodluck E. Jonathan on 30th June 2010.
Four other National Commissioners are to leave the Commission in July and August this year. They are: Dr. Abdulkadir S. Oniyangi, OFR, Kwara state, (North Central), whose tenure will expire on 21st July 2015; Mrs Amina Bala Zakari, Jigawa state, (North West); whose tenure will also expire on 21st July 2015; Dr Chris O. Iyimoga, Nasarawa state, (North Central); whose tenure will expire on 11th August 2015; and Amb. (Dr.) Mohammed Ahmad Wali, Sokoto state, (North West) whose tenure will also expire on 11th August 2015.
In the meantime, the tenures of sixteen Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) have expired and they have left the Commission last week. A gala night was held in their honour last week Thursday at the Le Meridien Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom. They are: Ahmad Makama, Bauchi state; Haliru A. Tambuwal, Sokoto state; Abdullahi Umar Danyaya, Niger state; Abubakar U.G. Wara, Kebbi state; Mr. Mike Igini, Delta state; Prof. Selina Omagha Oko, Ebonyi state; Hussaini Ahmed Mahuta, Katsina state; Dr. A.L. Ogunmola, Oyo state; Alh. Ibrahim Zarewa, Kano state; Prof. Tukur Sa’ad, Adamawa state; Dr. Emmanuel Onucheyo, Kogi state; Kassim Gana Gaidam, Yobe state; Mr. Timothy Ibitoye, Osun state; Amb. Dr. Rufus Akeju, Lagos state;Prof. C.E. Onukaogu, Abia state; and Ibrahim Bagobiri Marafa, Zamfara state.
But even as the Commission is being depleted, following the progressive expiration of the tenures of National Commissioners, its (INEC’s) work will continue apace and uninterrupted because it can always form a quorum. Section 159 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) states:
(1.) The quorum for a meeting of any of the bodies established by section 153 of this Constitution shall be not less than one-third of the total number of members of that body at the date of the meeting.
(2.) A member of such a body shall be entitled to one vote, and a decision of the meeting may be taken and any act or thing may be done in the name of that body by a majority of the members present at the meeting.
(3.) Whenever such body is assembled for a meeting, the Chairman or other person presiding shall, in all matters in which a decision is taken by vote (by whatever name such vote may be called) have a casting as well as a deliberative vote.
(4.) Subject to its rules of procedure, any such body may act or take part in any decision notwithstanding any vacancy in its membership or the absence of any member.