Civil society kicks as Buhari’s appoints aide as INEC National Commissioner

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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in support of credible and transparent elections in Nigeria has kicked against the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Media as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) representing the South-South.

The organisations under the umbrella of the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room said it was concerned about the nomination of Ms. Onochie, a well known partisan supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In a statement rejecting her nomination, the Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, Clement Nwankwo said her nomination contravene the constitution which forbids a partisan politician as a member of the row trial body.
Nwankwo therefore urged the president to withdraw her nomination.
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room also charged members of the upper chamber to thoroughly investigate the background of other nominated by the president.
Item F, paragraph 14 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) forbids a partisan politician as a member of INEC – a body charged under the Constitution to unbiasedly conduct of free and fair elections. Her nomination amounts to a major attempt at undermining efforts to build credibility for an improved electoral process in the country.
The statement reads in part: “Situation Room calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw her nomination. Should the President fail to withdraw this nomination the Nigerian Senate is hereby called upon to disregard her nomination without any consideration whatsoever. Situation Room is also calling on the Nigerian Senate to investigate all of the other nominations by the President especially as there are concerns that some of these nominations may have been by self-serving interests.

“It is important for Nigeria that the composition of INEC is transparently non-partisan and independent of partisan political manipulation.”

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