By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Akwa Ibom State Branch has said that Ms. Lauratta Onochie being a registered member of a political party is not qualified by law to hold sensitive position as Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
CLO has therefore, urged members of the National Assembly not to clear her nomination as INEC Commissioner as forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari for ratification.
CLO, in a press briefing in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, on Monday addressed by its Chairman, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, said that Onochie’s nomination breached the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Onochie who is currently serving as the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media was nominated by the President as INEC Commissioner in October 2020.
The appointment had triggered outrage among Nigerians with many individuals and groups calling for the rejection of the nominee who has openly declared membership for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
She had also campaigned for President Buhari in 2015 and the CLO is of the view that if her nomination is confirmed by the Senate, it will mar future elections and casts doubts on the independence of INEC.
The CLO asserted that Ms Onochie, being a card carrying member of the APC, is not qualified for such appointment as stated in relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
The pro-democracy organisation observed that Section 156(1)a) and third schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) outrightly disqualified any person in partisan politics and card carrying member of a political party from being appointed into INEC as an electoral umpire.