President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie as national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a letter sent to the Senate and read during Tuesday’s plenary by Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Buhari nominated Onochie from Delta state, Prof. Mohammed Sani from Katsina State; Prof. Kunle Ajayi from Ekiti State and Seidu Ahmed from Jigawa.
Buhari said the appointment of the Commissioners for INEC was pursuant to paragraph 14 of part 11 of the first schedule of the 1999 constitution.
The nomination of Onochie has drawn the ire of Nigerians who decry the brazen disregard for the rule of law by the Buhari administration.
They cited item F, Paragraph 14 of the third schedule to the 1999 constitution (as amended) which forbids a partisan politician as member of INEC – an independent, non-partisan body charged with the conduct of elections.
The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room described her nomination as a major attempt to undermine efforts aimed at building credibility for an improved electoral process in Nigeria.
They urged President Buhari to withdraw her nomination, and should he fail to do so, the body called on the Senate to exercise their constitutional oversight powers and reject her nomination.
The Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room also urged the Senate to investigate the other nominees of the President over concerns that some of the nominations may have ‘self-serving’ interests.