Falana: Appointment of Lauretta Onochi as INEC Commissioner is illegal
Femi Falana, Senior Lawyer and Interim President of Nigeria, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has accused Ms Loretta Onochi being appointed Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Falana said Ms. Loretta Onochi is an unwavering member of the ruling party and has consistently attacked members of other political parties against being legally qualified to appoint a commissioner. As a reminder, Ms. Onochi is currently serving as Special Assistant to President Muhammad Bukhari on social networks.
This was announced by a senior attorney in a statement released to Tribune Online on Tuesday in Lagos. He stated that his appointment violated paragraph 14 of part 1 of the third annex to the Constitution as amended by article 30 of Law no. 1 for 2010.
“In view of the desire of President Muhammad Bukhari to fill some vacancies in the Independent National Electoral Commission, it has become appropriate to draw the attention of the State Council and the Senate to the following provisions of the Constitution.
“Paragraph 14 of part 1 of the third annex to the Constitution as amended by Article 30 of Law No. 1 of 2010, a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission“ must be impartial ”. From the above, it is clear that the cardholder of a registered political party or a prominent supporter of a particular political party is constitutionally denied membership in the Independent National Electoral Commission.
As a tenacious member of the ruling party, Ms. Loretta Onochi has consistently attacked members of other political parties. “In this sense, he is biased and therefore does not have the right to be a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission,” he said.
Referring to other sections of the Constitution regarding the appointment of INEC commissioners, Falana stated that it is the responsibility of the Council of State to advise the President in the exercise of his powers regarding the appointment of commissioners. Femi also clarified that the constitution also requires an appointment to be subject to Senate approval.
“When appointing members of INEC, the President is required to consult with the Council of State in accordance with Article 154 (3) of the Constitution.” Paragraph B of Part 1 of the 3rd Annex to the Constitution provides that “The Council of State shall have the right to advise the President in the exercise of his powers in relation to (iv) the Independent National Electoral Commission, including the appointment of commissioners.
“In accordance with section 154 (1) of the Constitution, the appointment of members of the Independent National Election Commission is subject to Senate approval,” Femi said.
Source: Tribune Online