Ex-INEC boss Jega urges Buhari to withdraw Lauretta Onochie’s Commissioner nomination


Photo: Prof Jega

Prof. Attahiru Jega, the immediate past national chairman of Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the nomination of his Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, and replace her with a more credible person for the position of INEC National Commissioner.

According to Jega who spoke during a television interview on Monday, Onochie is unfit to be appointed to INEC on account of her well-known partisanship as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Giving his view on the development, Jega, the highly respected ex-INEC boss said: “The nominee is a very vocal member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and has been deeply involved in the party’s internal activities in the past, making her unsuitable to occupy a position that demands non-partisanship.

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“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.

“The National Assembly needs to really look at the spirit and the letter of the constitutional provision and the moral or ethical issues associated with this kind of appointments,” Jega added.

Jega, therefore, advised President Buhari to instead nominate someone else who’s more credible to replace his controversial social media aide for the said INEC top position.

Periscope International recalls that widespread controversy by way of criticisms, protests and petitions had trailed Onochie’s nomination as an INEC National Commissioner with many urging the president to withdraw her nomination and also urging the Senate to reject it.

The Senate is expected to confirm or reject Onochie’s controversial nomination this week after receiving and considering the report of the committee to that effect.

Earlier last week, Onochie had told the Senate Committee on INEC that she was no longer a member of the APC, adding that since Buhari’s second term victory in 2019, she had ceased to engage in partisan politics.

Onochie had claimed that the allegations against her and controversy surrounding it were unfair and politically-motivated, adding that she followed “the law and due process.”

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