Lauretta Onochi Cannot Become INEC Commissioner
Femi Falana, a senior Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, condemned President Bukhari’s actions following the appointment of his aide Lauretta Onochi to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He described Lauretta Onochi as an “unrepentant member” of the AKN who “constantly attacks members of other political parties.
Falana also pointed out that one of the criteria stipulated by the Constitution for determining who is eligible for office is that the appointed persons should not be biased.
The declaration is read in full;
“MEMBERS AND PARTIES OF POLITICAL PARTIES ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO BECOME INEC COMMISSIONS
In connection with the desire of President Muhammad Bukhari to fill some vacancies in the Independent National Electoral Commission, it became appropriate to draw the attention of the Council of State and the Senate to the following provisions of the Constitution:
When appointing INEC members, 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 power to advise the President in the exercise of his powers in relation to (iv) the Independent National Electoral Commission, including the appointment of commissioners. Pursuant to section 154 (1) of the Constitution, the appointment of members of the Independent National Electoral Commission is subject to Senate approval; paragraph 14 of part 1 of the Third Program of the Constitution, as amended by Article 30 of Law no. 1 2010 member of the Independent National Election Commission “will not be a partisan”.
It is clear from the above that a member of a registered political party or a prominent supporter of a particular political party who owns a card is constitutionally deprived of the right to membership in the Independent National Electoral Commission. As a stubborn member of the ruling party, Lauretta Onochi constantly attacked members of other political parties. In this sense, he is biased and therefore has no right to be part of the independent National Electoral Commission. “