Situation Room Kicks Against Buhari’s INEC Nominee, Lauretta Onochie

Lauretta Onochie - Situation Room Kicks Against Buhari’s INEC Nominee, Lauretta Onochie

The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Naija News had reported earlier that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated Onochie, his Special Assistant on Social Media, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), representing Delta State.

In a letter of request to the National Assembly which was read during plenary on Tuesday by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, President Buhari also nominated Prof. Mohammed Sani representing Katsina; Prof. Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti) and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa) to fill the quota of INEC Commissioners in their state.

The President noted  in his letter to the Nigerian Senate that the nomination was pursuant to Paragraph 14 of part 1F of the First Schedule of the 1999 Constitution.

But reacting in a statement, Clement Nwankwo, convener of Situation Room, asked President Buhari to withdraw the nomination.

He said according to the 1999 constitution, paragraph 14 forbids a “partisan politician” as a member of the electoral body.

“The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room is concerned about the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Media as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) representing the South-South,” the statement read.

“Ms. Onochie is a known partisan supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Item F, paragraph 14 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) forbids a partisan politician as a member of INEC – a body charged under the Constitution to unbiasedly conduct of free and fair elections.

“Her nomination amounts to a major attempt at undermining efforts to build credibility for an improved electoral process in the country.

“Situation Room calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw her nomination. Should the President fail to withdraw this nomination the Nigerian Senate is hereby called upon to disregard her nomination without any consideration whatsoever.

“It is important for Nigeria that the composition of INEC is transparently non-partisan and independent of partisan political manipulation.”

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