The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmoud Yakubu has refused to disclose specific figures that might be involved in conducting direct primaries as proposed in the amended electoral bill currently before President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking to newsmen on Thursday after a closed-door session with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Yakubu said he won’t disclose details of his discussion with the lawmakers.
He, however, stated that no specific amount was put forward for the conduct of primaries in his discussion with the lawmakers adding that the amount planned for the 2023 general elections will be known after the 2022 national budget is finalized.
“INEC did not come up with any cost for the conduct of primaries per political parties by the direct method.
We have had very good discussions with the committee on Appropriation of the National Assembly under the resolution of the House and what we discussed you will not hear from me. Maybe, the chairman of the committee will tell you,” he told newsmen.
When pressed on the possible rejection of the amended electoral bill by President Buhari, the INEC boss said he wasn’t aware of anything of such.
“Really? I am hearing it for the first time,” he said.
The Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Mukhtar Betara added that his committee had a parley with the INEC Chairman to know the requirements for the conduct of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.
He said: “In our discussions with the INEC Chairman, we wanted to know his requirements for the 2023 elections as well as the cost of direct or indirect Primaries”.