The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch has urged members of the National Assembly not to clear Ms Lauretta Onochie as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner.
Recall that Ms Onochie who is currently serving as the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media was nominated by the President as INEC Commissioner in October 2020.
Her nomination has generated some backlash from members of the public as many groups, individuals have condemned her nomination.
However, the State Chairman of CLO, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, reacting to the development in a press briefing in Uyo, on Monday said Ms Onochie’s nomination was a breach of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Senate told not to confirm Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner
The CLO said Ms Onochie, is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress adding that if the National Assembly peradventure clears her, Nigeria will be drifted to a one-party system.
The CLO, however, observed that Section 156(1)a) and third schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) stipulated that any person in active politics or a card-carrying member of a political party should not be appointed into INEC, which is the electoral umpire.
Part of the statement read, “Ms Lauretta Onochie currently serving as the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media has openly declared membership for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“She had also campaigned for President Buhari in 2015 and the CLO is of the view that if her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, it will mar future elections and cast doubts on the independence of INEC.
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“Ms Onochie, being a card-carrying member of the APC, is not qualified for such appointment as stated in relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
“Section 156(1)a) and third schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) outrightly disqualified any person in partisan politics and card-carrying member of a political party from being appointed into INEC as an electoral umpire.”