BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
The Minority Caucus of the Senate has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately withdraw the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Buhari had in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, read at plenary on Tuesday, nominated Onochie alongside three others National Commissioners in the electoral commission.
But reacting to the development, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a terse statement sent to journalists, said by nominating Onochie, Buhari has willfully gone against the constitution that he swore to uphold.
“Item F, paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a card carrying member of a political party to be a member of INEC.
“The Minority Caucus of the Senate is against this nomination and call on Mr President to withdraw it,” Abaribe said.
In the same vein, a three-time member of the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye, has also asked President Buhari to immediately rescind the nomination of his Special Assistant on Social Media, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of INEC.
In a press statement personally signed by Melaye on Tuesday, the former lawmaker described the nomination as unconstitutional, affront on the patience of Nigerians and an insult to the institution of INEC.
“She is biased as a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hence this is an affront on the patience of Nigerians and insult to the electoral umpire as an institution.
“I hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately rescind her nomination forwarded to the Senate today otherwise I will mobilise Nigerians to challenge this decision, which is unconstitutional,” Melaye said.