Human rights and good governance group, Concerned Nigerians for the Protection of Human Rights and the Rule of Law Initiative, has urged the senate not to confirm Ms Laureta Onochie as an INEC commissioner.
Ms Onochie, currently the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, was nominated by the president as National Commissioner of INEC to represent the South-south region.
The convener of the group, comrade Deji Adeyanju in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, said Onochie’s confirmation would be a clear violation of the provisions of the extant Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
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“It is public knowledge that Ms. Onochie is a card carrying of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a supporter and political aide of the president. We find it very worrisome that the senate, under your leadership, appears to have made up its mind to confirm Ms. Onochie as an INEC Commissioner. You may note that Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, states that a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be non-partisan,” he noted.
Adeyanju said the senate must be careful not to set a dangerous precedent with the confirmation of Ms. Onochie as elections in Nigeria usually determine, to a large extent, the nation’s fate.
“If this proposed action of confirming Ms. Onochie goes on according to plan, it will make many lose hope in elections and democracy in the country. We urge you not to reverse all our democratic gains by this action,” he added.
However, the group urged for the immediate clearance of Professor Sani Adams who is a professor of law and other Nigerians on the list.