A COALITION of Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Situation Room has called on Muhammadu Buhari, the Nigerian President to reverse the appointment of his media aide, Lauretta Onochie as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner.
“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,” the statement read.
The group said this in a statement made available to The ICIR on Tuesday signed by Clement Nwankwo, the Situation Room Convener.
According to the statement, Onochie ‘is a known partisan supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’.
Situation Room stated that Onochie’s appointment contravenes the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
“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 read.
The group said if Buhari fails to reverse the appointment of Ononchie, the Nigerian Senate should reject her appointment.
“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,” the statement further read.
Nwankwo wrote that ‘it is important for Nigeria that the composition of INEC is transparently non-partisan and independent of partisan political manipulation’.
The ICIR had reported that Buhari on Tuesday sent the names of four persons including Onochie to the Senate for confirmation as INEC commissioners.