The Christian Association of Nigeria has faulted the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the South-South in the Independent National Electoral Commission, describing it as “an executive recklessness, a dirty slap on the populace, and a gross violation of the 1999 constitution (as Amended).”
A statement by the President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, therefore called on the Senate to reject her nomination.
Ayokunle said, “As far as CAN is concerned, Onochie suffers objectivity, justice and fairness that are mandatory for every member of INEC as a result of her partisan membership of a political party and by being an appointee of the ruling party.
“We are equally opposed to her nomination because of her unguarded remarks, public insults on credible individuals and the use of vulgar language and unprintable words against people who express their displeasure to some actions and policies of the government of the day, especially, her principal.
Meanwhile, opposition to the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as the South-South National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission thickened on Thursday with about 20 civil society organisations heading for court stop her confirmation.
The CSOs have also petitioned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and the Chairman of the National Peace Committee and former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami.
This was as the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, called on the President, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to immediately withdraw Onochie’s nomination.
The CSOs disclose their moves at a press conference in Abuja addressed by the Executive Director, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre and Convener, Say No Campaign, Ezenwa Nwagwu; and Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Faith Nwadishi.
Other members of the coalition include Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi (Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre); Samson Itodo (Yiaga Africa); Ibrahim Zikirullahi (Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education); Okechukwu Nwagwuma (Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre); Idayat Hassan (Centre for Democracy Development); and Vivian Bello (Social Action).
Nwagwu said the 1999 Constitution expressly provided that the National Electoral Commissioners of INEC shall be non-partisan and persons of unquestionable integrity, who shall be nominated by the President.
On his part, Tambuwal, while speaking at the swearing-in of the chairman and members of the Sokoto State Independent Electoral Commission in Sokoto, noted that Onochie’s nomination by Buhari was morally wrong.
He said, “I am appealing to PMB to rise above sentiments and do the needful; go by the Constitution as President of Nigeria and not the President of the All Progressives Congress to withdraw the nomination of Onochie in the interest of this country.”