CSOs urge Senate to reject Onochie’s nomination for INEC job



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CSOs urge Senate to reject Onochie’s nomination for INEC job

By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja



A coalition of civil societies has petitioned Senate President Ahmad Lawan to reject the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to represent the Southsouth.

The nomination of Onochie, who is the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, has triggered outrage with many people urging the President to withdraw her nomination on grounds that she is partisan.



President Buhari forwarded Onochie’s name and those of five others to the Senate last October for confirmation as INEC national commissioners.

The other nominees are: Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti); Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa); Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (Northcentral) and Dr. Baba Bila (Northeast).

 No to Onochie as INEC commissioner

President Buhari, in a letter to the Senate, announced the nomination and sought the lawmakers’ confirmation.

The nomination had triggered outrage among Nigerians as many described it as unconstitutional.

Lawan, on June 9, directed the Senate Committee on INEC to screen Onochie and five other nominees.

In the petition, dated June 16 and addressed to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, the CSOs referred to Section 156(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, which mandates that a person nominated as an INEC National Commissioner should be non-partisan.

The CSOs noted that Onochie is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and a Special Assistant to President Buhari on Social Media.

They stressed that the nominee is also “notorious for her partisan, biased and, in some instances, inflammatory comments on national issues targeted at perceived or imagined enemies of the Buhari government”.

The petition was signed by Yiaga Africa; Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA); International Press Centre (IPC); Institute for Media and Society (IMS); The Albino Foundation; Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD); Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF); Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ); Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and CLEEN Foundation.

CSOs urge Senate to reject Onochie’s nomination for INEC job

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