A pro-democracy group, Concerned Nigerians, has written the Governments of the United States and United Kingdom to prevail on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to recall his letter sent to the Nigerian senate for the appointment of his Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, as an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commissioner.
BIGPEN reports the group, in the letter said that Onochie’s appointment was unconstitutional, and unacceptable to the generality of the Nigerian people.
The letter which was route through the US and UK Missions, dated October 14, 2020, and signed by the group’s Convener, Deji Adeyanju, is asking the United States, United Kingdom, and other development partners not to allow the President Buhari to destroy the nation’s democracy and the INEC’s independence by his “parochial appointment”.
It said 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.”
The letter entitled, ‘Nomination of Lauretta Onochie: Prevail on President Buhari not to destroy the independence of INEC,’ read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, as INEC Commissioner from Delta State is 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, which stipulates that a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be non-partisan”.
Adeyanju, in the letter submitted that the constitutional provision prohibits a card-carrying member of a registered political party or a well-known supporter of a particular political party from being appointed as a member of the INEC.
“We appeal to you to pressure President Buhari to rescind this appoint as it is capable of reversing the gains made in our electoral processes,” the letter reads.