Reject Onochie’s appointment as INEC National Commissioner, group tells Senate

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The Campaign for Equal Voting Access for Persons With Disabilities (EVAPWD), an NGO, has faulted the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated Onochie who was his Special Assistant on Social Media as National Commissioner of INEC representing Delta State, in a letter read on the floor of the Senate by its President, Ahmed Lawan.
According to the letter, President Buhari’s request is pursuant to paragraph 14 of party 1f of the first schedule of the 1999 constitution.
Other nominees were Prof Mohammed Sani, Prof Kunle Akayi and Seidu Ahmed representing Katsina, Ekiti and Jigawa states respectively.
But a statement made available to TNC on Wednesday, the Chairman of EVAPWD, Mr David Anyaele, said the decision should be reversed in overriding public interest.
Anyaele noted that the group was highly worried on the nomination of Onochie, who had been a politically exposed person for over five years running.
“The EVAPWD is worried over the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, a foot soldier and senior sympathiser of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Media as National Commissioner of INEC.
“The honesty and integrity of Onochie to serve as an INEC official is questionable as she has been very partisan in the last five years.
“Hence, Item F, paragraph 14 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) prohibits a person with questionable integrity from serving as a member of INEC,’’ he said.
The EVAPWD boss, therefore, called on the Senate to reject her nomination to avoid contamination of the successes recorded so far by INEC.
“The Senate should protect the election management body from political party influences,’’ he added.

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