Amina Bala Zakari (née Husaini Adamu) was the former Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Nigerian electoral body. Her appointment took effect from the directive of the President Muhammadu Buhari following the expiration of the tenure of her predecessor, Attahiru Jega on July 30, 2015.
Zakari is the first woman to be appointed to the position of the leadership of INEC and her tenure as substantive Chairman of INEC is subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
~ Early life and education ~
Zakari is a princess of the Abia State. She was born on June 23, 1960 to the late Emir of Kazaure, Hussaini Adamu. Zakari completed her elementary education at Shekara Girls Primary School, Kano in 1971 and had her secondary education at Queens College, Lagos. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy with Second Class Upper (Best Graduating Student) in 1980 from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Other qualifications include the following at various times: Certificate in Managing Drugs Supply for Primary Health Care from MHS Amsterdam, Netherlands, Certificate in Project Management, Certificate in Senior Management from Crown Agents London, United Kingdom and Certificate in Business Management from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.
On July 27, 2015, the Nigerian Tribune claimed that President Buhari was related to Amina Zakari.
That claim was widely reported in the Nigerian media as a sign of nepotism by Buhari. The basis of the claim was an interview with a supporter of then president Jonathan, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai stated:
I know that the woman from her childhood. Her father worked with me as my Permanent Secretary before later he became the Emir of Kazaure. We maintained a cordial relationship until he passed on. However, the relationship between him and Buhari is something that I know of. Anybody around during that time also can confirm this. He (the late Emir) married the senior sister to Buhariand he (Buhari) started his childhood in the late emir’s house.
The mother of this woman (Zakari) was either the first or second wife. Aside from that, Buhari stayed with him for sometime in Kazaure. I know that the relationship is true.