The Situation Room of the Nigeria Civil Society has called for the withdrawal of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, social media aide to President Buhari, whom he appointed as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It will be recalled that earlier on Tuesday, Buhari had directed the senate to confirm the appointment of Onochie along with Mohammed Sani (Katsina), Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti) and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa) as INEC commissioners.
However, while reacting in a statement, the convener of Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo, pointed out that the nomination of Onochie is an attempt to weaken efforts to build a credible electoral process in Nigeria.
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Nwankwo emphasized this, while quoting paragraph 14 of the 1999 constitution which forbids a “partisan politician” as a member of the electoral body.
He therefore proceeded to urge the senate to disregard Onochie’s nomination if President Buhari fails to withdraw it.
Nwankwo also went ahead to advise the senate to investigate the other nominees as they might have been nominated based on “self-serving interest”.
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“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.Advertisement
“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.
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“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.Advertisement
“It is important for Nigeria that the composition of INEC is transparently non-partisan and independent of partisan political manipulation.”