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Onochie: Activist writes Senate, US ambassador, calls for rejection of nomination

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Anger over the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a Commisaioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) keep deepening by the day as Comrade Deji Adeyanju has written to the Senate President to reject her nomination.

In the letter dated 28th June, which was copied US Ambassador to Nigeria, United Kingdom’s High Commission and the Head of Mission of the European Union in Nigeria, the activist said the nomination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide was in clear violation of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution as amended and an infraction on other extant laws.

The letter reads: “We write, in our capacity, as a citizen led human right organization to offer a timely warning on the proposed confirmation of Ms. Laureta Onochie as an INEC commissioner, in clear violation of the provisions of the extant Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

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“In the same vein, we urge you to immediately clear Professor Sani Adams, a professor of law who is eminently qualified to be a national commissioner and other Nigerians on the list.

“Ms. Onochie. It is public knowledge that Ms. Onochie is a card carrying of the All Progressives Congress (APC), a supporter and political aide of the president.

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“We find it very worrisome that the Senate, under your leadership, appears to have made up its mind to confirm Ms. Onochie as an INEC Commissioner.

“You may note that Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, states that a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be non-partisan.

“We wish to draw your attention to the fact that elections in Nigeria usually determine, to a large extent, the nation’s fate. Accordingly, the senate must be careful not to set a dangerous precedent with the confirmation of Ms. Onochie, lest a day come when the president of Nigeria may nominate his party chairman as the INEC Chairman.

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“If this your proposed action of confirming Ms. Onochie goes on according to plan, it will make many lose hope in elections and democracy in the country. We urge you not to reverse all our democratic gains by this action.

“In the light of the foregoing, we hereby request that you take urgent steps to safeguard the nation’s present and future electoral process, by declining the nomination of Ms. Onochie as an INEC Commissioner.”

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