The nomination of Mrs Lauretta Onochie as the National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to represent the South-South geo-political zone is unacceptable. We believe that Mrs Onochie, a political appointee and a Senior Special Assistant to the President on social media, is unfit for the role. A person of her standing, affiliated with the All Progressives Congress (APC), should not be a national commissioner of an independent electoral body.
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) stipulates that persons with political affiliations cannot be nominated as National Commissioners. Section 156(1) states that:
No person shall be qualified for appointment as a member of any of the bodies aforesaid if – (a) He is not qualified or if he is disqualified for the election as a member of the House of Representatives; provided that a member of any of these bodies shall not be required to belong to a political party, and in the case of the Independent National Electoral Commission, he shall not be a member of a Political Party.
Also, in Item F, paragraph 14 (2) (a) of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria forbids a politician as a member of INEC. It says:
A member of the Commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity.
Mrs Onochie is not only a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), she has also displayed her partisanship on social media and in public gatherings. Her nomination is a violation of the constitutional requirements and must be rejected.
YVote Naija calls on the Senate Committee on INEC to reject this nomination and uphold the Commission’s integrity and respect the constitution. We also recommend that nominations must fulfil all constitutional requirements before the Senate approves them.
Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative and YVote Naija.
NGO Calls for rejection of Lauretta Onochie as INEC National Commissioner