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We won’t remove Amina Zakari as head of elections collation centre, INEC insists

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said the body does not plan to remove Amina Zakari as head of the collation centre committee for the general election.

This is coming following protests from opposition parties over the appointment.

The commission also denied claims that Zakari will be involved in the collation of results.

INEC had on Thursday announced Zakari as the head of the collation centre committee when it inaugurated key committees for the 2019 general election.

But opposition parties led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some Nigerians have faulted decision.

PDP had said “there is no way Amina Zakari will not allocate votes to her blood relation, President Buhari” with her as head of the committee.

However, speaking during a Channels TV programme on Friday, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, INEC director of voter education and publicity, said Zakari’s committee is “basically in charge of the physical structure” (the International Conference Centre which is the collation centre).

“The chairman of INEC by virture 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,” he said.

Osaze-Uzzi said Zakari’s 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.

Asked if INEC is “considering doing anything in terms of removing her,” he responded: “Removing her as the chairman of the committee to prepare the facility? That’s not an issue. It’s a needless controversy; not an issue at all.”

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