The Nigerian Senate has rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, Senior Special Assistant on Social Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, representing the South-South.
BIGPEN reports Onochie nomination has been greeted with discontent tones across the country. Specifically, a group, Concerned Nigerians Group had asked the senate in a protest letter to reject confirmation of Onochie.
Stressing that Onochie was a known partisan supporter of President Buhari and his ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, the group in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, said the nomination goes contrary to the provisions of the constitution, which prohibits nomination of partisan people for the office.
The letter signed by its Convener, Comrade Deji Adeyanju reads, “We find President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his Personal Assistant on Social, Lauretta Onochie, as the Independent National Electoral Commission Commissioner from Delta State to be a reprehensible attempt to destroy the integrity and independence of Nigeria’s electoral commission.
“Lauretta Onochie is an openly partisan, card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, Nigeria’s ruling party, who constantly attacks and denigrates critics of the ruling party. Her appointment is in violation of paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission “shall be non-partisan”.
BIGPEN understands on Thursday that the leadership of the Senate, in a memo sent to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday evening, had asked the presidency to reconsider the nomination of Onochie to be confirm as an INEC commissioner.
The senate, according to sources had hinged it reasons for stopping Onochie’s confirmation to include her nomination being unconstitutional considering her position as a card carrying member of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress.