The Chairman of the Niger state Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC), Alhaji Baba Aminu has been removed from office by the state House of Assembly, accusing him of incompetence and his inability to effectively discharge the responsibility of his office.
The Legislators sacked the NSIEC Chairman who appeared before the house to explain why the state electoral body decides to go ahead with the preparations for the conduct of the local government elections in the state despite the resolution passed by the Assembly, suspending it.
The Chairman was fired for his inability to give the number of total registered voters in the state, saying that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the record.
“I have no account to work on. For the total number of registered voters in Niger state, I do not know. You will have to go to the federal INEC to get the total number”.
The Assembly therefore accused him of incompetence for inability give the number if registered voters in the state as a Chairman of electoral body preparing to conduct local government election in November.
The NSEIC Chairman was removed alongside one of his Commissioners who had featured on a radio programme in the state, where he had questioned the power of the Assembly to shift or suspend the local government elections.
The NSEIC Chairman while answering questions from the lawmakers, also said that he was loyal to two masters, the constitution and his Principal, the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.
Responding to a question on why the Commission decides to go ahead with preparations for the conduct of the local government elections, despite the house resolution suspending the exercise, the Chairman responded, saying that he has not received any directive from the Court or the state government to stop the preparation for the council elections.
This drew the anger of the Legislators who wondered if the Chairman will be an impartial umpire as expected of him since he is now loyal to two masters.
“You do not have the capacity to run the state Independent Electoral Commission. Instead of being impartial, you are likely to tilt toward the political party that your Principal belongs to”, the Legislators representing Borgu Constituency, Honorable Abba Bala (PDP) said.
It was at this point that Lawmaker representing Agwara constituency, Honorable Bello Ahmed Agwara called for the removal of the Chairman and this was seconded by Honorable Binta Mamman representing Gurara constituency (APC).
The state Assembly have been at loggerheads with the Executive over plan to conduct of the state council elections.
However Before the arrival of the NSIEC Chairman at the Assembly, the Legislators had received a letter from the Governor, responding to its earlier resolution suspending the local government elections, informing the Assembly that he would go ahead with the decision of the state Independent Electoral Commission to hold the local government elections in November.
According to the Governor in his letter, the Legislators in their letter to him did not address the constitutional vacuum the exit of the local government Chairmen would create if there tenure expires in December if there are no elected Chairmen in November.