- Former INEC chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, has advised INEC against confirming Onochie’s appointment as a commissioner of the national electoral body
- Jega noted that Onochie’s nomination is an avoidable controversy, adding that President Buhari should replace her with another eligible woman
- Amid the controversy trailing Onochie’s nomination, the Senate screened her on Thursday, July 8
Professor Attahiru Jega, a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has warned the Senate against confirming the appointment of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the electoral body to avoid controversy.
Jega also said President Muhammadu Buhari could withdraw Onochie’s nomination and replace her with another female from her state, noting that there are many other eligible women for the job, The Punch reported.
Legit.ng gathers that the former INEC boss said this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television on Sunday, July 11.
Onochie had on Thursday, July 8, during her screening by the Senate Committee on INEC, denied being a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) since 2019.
“This kind of controversy is really avoidable. Any person who generated such a controversy; the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body.”
Aghughu Paulinus commented on Facebook:
“This man sounds intelligent, I am sorry if I appear petty. Because it ages now since I have seen a public officer that is so detribalized with a high sense of patriotism. There is hope then…”
Jude Udoh said:
“Opposing from experience. He knows what they did and therefore what they can do.”
Emmanuel Nupepe D’Emmaj said:
“Why do they talk well when they are out of office…Jega led us into this Buhari matter….he was smiling when Jonathan failed, why complain now when another mistake is about to take off.”
PDP takes protest against Onochie’s nomination to NASS
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, June 30, stormed the National Assembly to demonstrate their displeasure over Onochie’s nomination.
If the Nigerian legislature approves her nomination, Onochie will become a commissioner of the agency, representing Delta state.
The presidential media aide’s nomination by President Buhari in 2020 sparked nationwide reactions and comments in political and legal circles.
CSOs ask Senate to reject Onochie’s nomination
In a similar development, 11 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have rejected the nomination of Onochie as a INEC national commissioner.
At a press briefing attended by a Legit.ng reporter in Abuja on Wednesday, June 23, the CSOs raised major constitutional issues with Onochie’s nomination and requested the Senate to reject it forthwith.
Among other points, the groups said Onochie does not meet the constitutional requirements of being non-partisan (as defined by Section 156(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) to be nominated as an INEC national commissioner.