Senate exposes Buhari’s blunder, rejects Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner

The Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, Lauretta Onochie, can’t be a magistrate of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the time being, notwithstanding President Muhammadu Buhari’s assignment, the Senate Commitee on INEC has said.

This is on the grounds that there is right now no opening for Delta State (where she hails from) as a National Commissioner, Chairperson of the panel, Kabiru Gaya, who introduced the report of the checking done on Ms Onochie’s designation, said. The board accordingly suggested that the official assistant’s arrangement be dismissed.

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Mr Gaya said she was excluded dependent on government character standards as there is presently a serving official from Delta State, where she hails from.

By assigning Ms Onochie, the president submitted another bungle notwithstanding his negligence for the Nigerian Constititution which restricts him from naming hardliner people for such a position. The president submitted a comparable bungle in the past when he delegated dead individuals to sheets of government parastatals.

Area 14(1)(a&b) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as changed specifies that “the… Commission (INEC) will contain the accompanying individuals: a). a director, who will be the Chief Electoral Commissioner; b). twelve different individuals to be known as National Electoral Commissioners.”

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That implies that two public chiefs should be drawn from every one of the country’s six international zones.

That was likewise the piece of the law the president alluded to when he wrote to the Senate seeking the affirmation of the arrangement of Ms Onochie and three others.

“Compliant with Paragraph 14 of Part I(F) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as changed, I thus forward for affirmation by the Senate, the arrangement of the accompanying four Commissioners for… INEC,” the letter read.

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The letter explicitly recorded the chosen people as “Muhammad Kallah (National Electoral Commissioner), Katsina; Lauretta Onochie (National Electoral Commissioner), Delta; Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (National Electoral Commissioner), Ekiti; and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Resident Electoral Commissioner), Jigawa.

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