President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate to confirm the appointment of one of his media aides, Lauretta Onochie, and three others as Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Others are Prof. Mohammed Sani Katsina), Prof. Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), and Seidu Ahmed (Jigawa).
The letter was read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.
Lauretta Onochie is currently the media aide to President Buhari on Social Media and the most controversial.
The President seeks confirmation of her appointment as a National Commissioner of INEC representing Delta State and this has sparked another national range.
The letter dated 12th October, 2020, was read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.
The letter read in part “Pursuant to Paragraph 14 of Part I(F) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, I hereby forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the following four Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
The President in a separate letter to the Upper Chamber, requested the confirmation of appointment of three Executive Directors of the Board of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency.
He said the request for confirmation was in accordance with the provision of Section 2(3) of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (Amendment) Act 2007.
See the tweet below…
In the same vein, a lawyer, Mr Festus Ogun has argued that the appointment of Lauretta Onochie is unconstitutional.
“The appointment of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner is unconstitutional, undemocratic and ridiculous. Section 14 of Part 1 of Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution provides that a person to be appointed as INEC commissioner must be a person of “unquestionable integrity”.
He added that, “The integrity of Onochie, an aide of Pres. Buhari, is questionable for her clear partisanship and being a card carrying member of the APC.
“INEC commissioners should be independent and not partisan. This shameful recommendation must be rejected by the Senate.
“This assault on our tottering constitutional democracy must be resisted by all patriots. Nigerians should not forget that this administration is not serious about electoral reforms.
“The recommendation of Onochie is hereby rejected.”
In addendum, Matthew Page added that, “Lauretta Onochie is one of the most partisan people in Nigerian public life today. Appointing a take-no-prisoners party spokesperson to serve as a guardian of Flag of Nigeria’s non-partisan electoral commission is, in my view, utterly negligent and will be incredibly damaging.”