Lauretta Onochie’s Nomination As INEC Commissioner Should Be Rejected- See What Constitution Says
On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari nominated one of his aides, Lauretta Onochie as a commissioner of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This could have gone unnoticed, but not at a time when the youths are learning to use their voice.
Nigerians didn’t accept Lauretta Onochie’s nomination because the INEC commissioners should be independent people, not affiliated with any political party. A criteria Lauretta Onochie didn’t meet, as she is a card carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party and a special aide to the president.
According to Yemie fash, the Senate has rejected Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner, for reasons including her position as a card carrying member of APC.
Equally, The Nigerian Constitution specifically declares that appointees to the electoral body must be non-partisan and also not a card-carrying member of any political party.
Section 14(2a) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that “a member of the commission shall be non-partisan and a person of unquestionable integrity.”
And Section 14(3b) of the same Schedule states that “there shall be for each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, a Resident Electoral Commissioner who shall be a person of unquestionable integrity and shall not be a member of any political party.” This, however, directly applies to members appointed as Resident Electoral Commissioners.
While preceding paragraphs empowers the president to make appointments and the Senate to make confirmations, 3b, demands that the integrity of an appointee must not be in question.
The interpretation of this Section of the law raises questions as to whether it was considered before the appointments were made.
This is because Ms Onochie has openly displayed partisanship and total support for the president and the All Progressives Congress in general.
She had campaigned for the president’s second term (#NextLevel Agenda) in 2018 and 2019, hence the hostile reactions to her nomination.