Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Buhari should find another woman, Lauretta Onochie lacks credibility: Jega

Attahiru Jega, former INEC chairman, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to find another woman to replace Lauretta Onochie because she lacks credibility.

• July 12, 2021
Jega, Onochie and Buhari
A composite of Jega, Onochie and Buhari used to illustrate this story

Attahiru Jega, former INEC chairman, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to find another woman to replace Lauretta Onochie because she lacks credibility.

Mr Buhari had nominated Ms Onochie as INEC national commissioner.

Mr Jega, who spoke on Channels TV, stated, “To be honest, the president can just withdraw her nomination. After all, there are so many other women with credibility, capacity, and competence in Delta state and Cross River state.

“So why bring somebody that can generate controversy in this regard and raise suspicion on the intention of the appointment? I think we should put this controversy behind us and do the right thing.”

According to him, the law is clear on the nomination of electoral commissioners and Ms Onochie’s British citizenship, and her involvement with the APC until 2019 makes her credibility questionable.

“Our electoral legal framework, particularly the constitutional provision on INEC, anticipates that both the chairman and national commissioners would be people who are non-partisan and not card-carrying members of political parties.

“From some of the documents I have been privileged to see, both her British citizenship and also her belonging to a political party until 2019, if we believe she had disengaged from the party since 2019, you will try to avoid appointing such people into electoral commission because it can create controversy,” Mr Jega argued.

The former INEC chief added, “To be honest, this is avoidable. The National Assembly needs to really look at the spirit of the constitution and the moral issues associated with this kind of appointment.”

Appearing before the Senate Committee on INEC on Thursday, Ms Onochie claimed she had stopped being an APC member since 2019.

“Since Buhari was elected as president for the second term, I have removed myself from everything about politics. Since 2019, I don’t have anything to do with politics.

“As I am sitting down here, I am not a member of any political party in this country,” she told the committee.

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