- Ms Lauretta Onochie's nomination as an INEC commissioner continues to generate reactions
- As expected, the PDP has kicked against her nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari
- A civil society organisation has also rejected the nomination of the Delta-born presidential aide
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The Senate minority caucus has kicked against the nomination of Ms Lauretta Onochie as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The caucus is a body of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators in the red chambers of the National Assembly.
President Buhari had in a letter read at Senate plenary on Tuesday, October 13 by Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, requested the upper chamber to confirm his social media aide, Onochie, as well as three others as INEC commissioners.
Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the nomination of Onochie was contrary to the provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“President Buhari by nominating Loretta Onochie has willfully gone against the constitution that he swore to uphold.
“Item F, paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a card-carrying member of a political party to be a member of INEC.
“The minority caucus of the Senate is against this nomination and call on Mr President to withdraw it.”
Similarly, the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room has asked President Buhari to withdraw the nomination of Onochie.
Clement Nwankwo, the convener of Situation Room, said the nomination of Onochie is an attempt to weaken the efforts to build a credible electoral process in Nigeria.
Part of a statement by the civil society group read:
“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.”
Onochie, from Delta state, has been a controversial figure since she was appointed by the president in 2015.
Just recently, she had a public spat with pop artiste, Ayo Balogun, also known as WizKid.
In February 2017, she had a similar social row with respected media entrepreneur, Dele Momodu.
Also, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, filed a case in a federal high court against Onochie in December 2019.
Atiku said he suffered mental and psychological torture as a result of social media attacks by the presidential aide.
INEC official at Abuja court | Legit TV