INEC Breaks Silence On Rivers Assembly Crisis

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally broken its silence on the controversy surrounding the status of the members of the Rivers State House of Assembly who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, addressing the issue at the second quarterly consultative meeting with media organizations in Abuja on Wednesday, stated that the commission is waiting for the courts to make a pronouncement on the matter before taking appropriate steps.

Yakubu emphasized that the commission has no role in the resignation of Assembly members, pointing out that there are 32 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly elected during the 2023 general election.

“INEC has no business with anybody resigning from the State House of Assembly. They should direct their letters of resignation to the Clerk of the House of Assembly. In one day, I received three letters, but it is not our duty,” Yakubu said.

He also mentioned that the commission has been inundated with letters from individuals claiming to be Speakers and from the PDP urging INEC to declare the seats vacant.

Yakubu reiterated that INEC’s position is to wait for the court’s judgments before taking any action. “Our position remains that where matters are in courts, we wait for judgments before taking steps. We are not the courts, so it’s not our responsibility to interpret cases.

It is when courts have given judgments that we now do what we, as the electoral body, should do. But until such happens, we will not take any step that is not our constitutional responsibility.” He further clarified, “The National Assembly makes laws, the judiciary interprets the laws, so it is not our duty to do that. It is within the courts’ pronouncements that we act.”

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