- The NBA has vehemently opposed the plan by the Senate to consider Lauretta Onochie as an INEC commissioner
- The association believes that Onochie's partisan background makes her unfit for the sensitive position
- Moreover, NBA noted that before the presidential media aide is nominated, the presidency ought to make some crucial consultations
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The rekindled controversy over the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was heightened on Thursday, June 10.
This came as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) called on the Senate not to consider Onochie, who happens to be a member of the All Progressives Party (APC) and a presidential media aide, for the enviable job, The Nation reports.
In a letter to the chairman of the Senate committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, the NBA's head of public interest and development law, Monday Ubani, did not only ask that Onochie be dropped but explained that she is unfit for the office due to her political affiliation, The Cable also reported.
Did Buhari follow due process?
The association also expressed doubt as to whether the council of state was consulted before the nomination according to the provision of section 154 (3) of the constitution.
Digging deeper, Ubani explained that by law, the council has the authority to advise the president as he exercises his power over INEC and any appointment in the commission.
He stated further:
“Most importantly, Paragraph 14 of Part I of the Third Schedule of the Constitution (as amended) in Section 30 Number 1 of 2020, says a member of INEC should be ‘non-partisan.
"Can Mrs. Lauretta Onochie be regarded by anyone in Nigeria, knowing her antecedent as the Special Assistant to the President, as ‘non-partisan’ under the Nigerian context? The right answer is No.”
Senate to screen Onochie
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the red chamber was set to screen Onochie for the post.
The screening which was directed by the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, is being carried out by the red chamber's committee on INEC.
Other nominees for the positions are Professor Muhammad Kallah, Kunle Ajayi, Saidu Ahmad, Professor Sani Adam, and Baba Bila.