Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), emphasised that the commission lacks the constitutional mandate to conduct local council elections outside of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He made this statement during a two-day induction retreat for INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in Lagos.

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Addressing calls for INEC to assume responsibility for local council elections nationwide, Yakubu underscored that such a decision hinges on constitutional amendments.

He noted that the constitution currently establishes State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs), which are tasked with conducting these elections in states.

Yakubu clarified that INEC’s role remains limited to organizing national and state elections, except within the FCT where it oversees elections for six area council chairmen and 62 councillors.

He commended the commission’s efforts in ensuring regular and credible elections in the FCT.

Regarding ongoing constitutional amendments, some Nigerians advocate for dissolving SIECs to empower INEC to manage local government elections.

They argue that this move would curb alleged irregularities and ensure fair distribution of local councils’ allocations.

Earlier in March, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), supported abolishing SIECs to enhance transparency and independence in local government elections under INEC’s purview.