Council Chairmen’s Tenure Ends 2026, Says INEC

Council Chairmen’s Tenure Ends 2026, Says INEC

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mahmood Yakubu, has clarified that the tenure of the elected chairmen and councillors in the six Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory will come to an end in June 2026.

Yakubu made the clarification during a meeting with the leadership of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, in Abuja on Friday.

The meeting was convened to provide clarity on the tenure of the six area council chairmen and 62 councillors.

He noted that the commission had received numerous inquiries from various stakeholders questioning the tenure based on the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010, which initially provided for a three-year term.

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However, the INEC chairman clarified that the Electoral Act 2022, which came into force on February 25, 2022, extends the tenure to four years, aligning it with national executive and legislative elections.

The new Act was effective before the current officials took their oaths of office on June 14, 2022, thereby setting their tenure to expire in June 2026.

“Nigerians are aware that the National Assembly has since repealed and re-enacted the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) as the Electoral Act 2022. In particular, in the exercise of its powers as the lawmaking body for the FCT, the National Assembly extended the tenure of the Area Councils from three to four years, thereby aligning it with executive and legislative elections nationwide.

“This is one of the important provisions of the Electoral Act 2022. The Act came into force on Friday 25th February 2022, two weeks after the last area council elections in the FCT.

“By the time the elected chairmen and councillors were sworn in four months later on 14th June 2022, they took their oath of allegiance and oath of office based on the new electoral Act (i.e. the Electoral Act 2022) which provides for a four-year tenure. Consequently, their tenure therefore expires in June 2026,” he explained.

He emphasised that the tenure is determined by the date of the oath of office, not the date of election, citing several judicial authorities to support this interpretation.