15 October 2020 By Georgina Humphrey
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has condemned in strong terms the nomination of a Presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie as a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This is contained in a statement signed by the President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle
The statement describes the nomination as an executive recklessness, a dirty slap on the populace, and a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended).
It calls on the Senate to reject the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It quotes Section 156 (1) (a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) Act No 1, 2010, which states that a member of the INEC “shall not be a member of a political party.” Whereas Onochie is reportedly said to be a card carrying member of the ruling party, that disqualifies her from being nominated and appointed to serve in INEC.
It explains that although the President has power to appoint members of INEC whenever there are vacancies, he is also expected to abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in doing so.
The statement urges the President to consult with the Council of State as stated in section 154 (3) of the Constitution.
“As far as CAN is concerned, Onochie lacks objectivity, justice and fairness that are mandatory for every member of INEC as a result of her partisan membership of a political party and by being an appointee of the ruling party.
We are equally opposed to her nomination because of her unguarded remarks, public insults on credible individuals and the use of vulgar language and unprintable words against people who express their displeasure to some actions and policies of the Government of the day.
“Our Association had been a victim of her unguarded statements since her appointment as the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media.
A person like her by her utterances does not have the character to occupy a position of an unbiased umpire in national elections in Nigeria”
CAN therefore calls on the distinguished Senate to do a thorough investigation of other three nominees to ensure that they are truly qualified and competent for the appointment and that they do not belong to any political party to prevent unnecessary interference in the conduct of elections and ensure conduct of credible elections for our general good.
“We appeal to the Senate to save the nation from constitutional breach and crises during elections that can consume the nation.