Why Onochie Cannot Be INEC Commissioner – CSOs

Why Onochie Cannot Be INEC Commissioner - CSOs
Lauretta Onochie
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The coalition explained that Ms Onochie’s citizenship will undermine national interest and potentially threaten the independence of INEC.

Speaking for the coalition during a press conference in Abuja yesterday, a board member of YIAGA Africa, Ezenwa Nwagwu noted that Onochies’s dual citizenship makes her fall short of the constitutional requirements for being appointed to that position as stated in Sections 156(1a) and 66(1a) of the 1999 Constitution.

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Africa Daily News, New York understands that the nomination of Onochie, who is the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, has triggered outrage with many calling on the president to withdraw the nomination on grounds that Ms Onochie is partisan and so it would be undemocratic for her to be appointed into such an office.

President Buhari forwarded the name of Ms Onochie and five others to the Senate in October last year for confirmation as INEC national commissioner.

The other nominees are: Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah from Katsina; Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, Ekiti State; Saidu Babura Ahmad, Jigawa; Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam, North Central and Dr. Baba Bila, North East.

The president, in a letter to the Senate, announced the appointment and sought the lawmakers’ confirmation. The appointment had triggered outrage among Nigerians as many described it as unconstitutional.

The Senate President on June 9, directed the Senate Committee on INEC headed by Kabiru Gaya to screen Ms. Onochie and five other nominees.

But Nwagwu stated: ‘Further proof of Mrs. Onochie being a British citizen is contained in the fact that until recently, she was a full, card-carrying member of the British Conservative Party, even contesting elections for a councillorship position in Thames Ward in the London Borough of Barking and Degenham in 2010 as a member of the UK Conservative Party.

‘The fact of her dual citizenship and political activities in the UK raises major questions on her loyalty and commitment to Nigeria.

‘As a Nigerian and UK citizen, she is obligated to demonstrate loyalty to both countries. Therefore, her dual loyalty will undermine national interest and potentially threaten the independence of INEC.’

 

AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK

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