11 CSOs petition Senate over Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC commissioner

Eleven Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have petitioned the Senate opposing the appointment of Ms Lauretta Onochie as Commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The CSOs are; Yiaga Africa, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA), International Press Centre (IPC), Institute for Media and Society (IMS), The Albino Foundation, Centre for Citizens with Disability (CCD), Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), and CLEEN Foundation.

They quoted Section 156(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, which mandates that a person nominated as INEC National Commissioner should be non-partisan.

There has been uproar since President Muhammadu Buhari, nominated Ms Onochie, who is currently his Special Assistant on Social Media as INEC Commissioner.

The CSOs, in the petition, argued that Ms Onochie is not only a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), but also a Special Assistant to President Buhari on Social Media.

“We contend that her appointment will greatly undermine the neutrality and impartiality of INEC and it will increase mistrust in the INEC and Nigeria’s electoral process,” the letter read in part.

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