The Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has hailed the Nigerian Senate for rejecting President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide on Social Media, Ms Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The group said by the action of the lawmakers, they have preserved the integrity of the electoral body and restored the confidence of Nigerians that truly they can be independent.
It however asked the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Nigerians to remain vigilant on the controversial Electoral Bill currently before the National Assembly.
Executive Director CTA, Faith Nwadishi, who expressed the position of the group in a statement said Ms Onochie was rightly seen by Nigerians as “partisan and toxic”.
It said: “The Senate’s rejection of the nomination of Madam Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is a welcome development and augurs well for our democracy.
”Recall that the nomination of Lauretta Onochie by President Mohammadu Buhari as INEC National Commissioner to represent the South-South in October last year was greeted with outrage, disappointment and roundly rejected by the majority of Nigerians.
“The Centre for Transparency Advocacy issued a statement in support of other CSOs and majority of Nigerians in rejecting her nomination.
“Madam Lauretta Onochie was rightly seen by Nigerians as partisan, toxic and lacked the integrity to assume such office as a National Commissioner and a policy maker in a sacred office like the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“Madam Onochie’s presence in INEC would have, in great measures, impugned on the integrity of the Electoral Management Board and put to question the integrity of the electoral process.
“The Senate has done the needful by listening to the voice of the people even though pressured by Nigerians to be accountable to the people and represent the interest of the people.
“CTA calls on CSOs and Nigerians to still be vigilant and look forward to the National Assembly passing an Electoral Bill that will have electronic transmission of results by INEC and addresses all other issues raised by Nigerians. Citizen’s power keeps hope alive for our democracy”.
The Senate on Tuesday explained that Onochie’s nomination was rejected because of her partisanship and breach of the federal character principle.
According to the lawmakers, aside the number of petitions written against her, her nomination violated the Federal Character Principle as there is already a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Mary Agbamuche-Mbu who was screened and confirmed by the 8th Senate.