Monday, February 6, 2023

Rights groups sue Buhari over Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner

The bodies are asking the court to cause the defendants to prevent Ms Onochie from appointed as INEC commissioner.

• July 6, 2021
Lauretta and Buhari
Lauretta and Buhari [Photo Credit: BBC]

The International Press Centre and eight other civil rights groups have filed a case with suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/604/2021 against president Buhari and three others seeking to stop the confirmation of Lauretta Onochie as a commissioner for electoral body, INEC.

In October 2020, Buhari, in contravention of the electoral act, nominated Ms Onochie, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress, as commissioner for INEC.

The nomination drew widespread criticisms.

Though the Senate returned the nomination, advising the president to reconsider her nomination, Senate President Ahmed Lawan directed that Ms Onochie be screened by a Senate committee for confirmation after Mr Buhari insisted on presenting her.

The originating summon has President Muhammadu Buhari as the first defendant, the attorney general, Abubakar Malami, as the second defendant, the Senate as third defendant and chairman, senate committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, as the fourth defendant.

The list of  organisations originating the summons are; the International Press Centre, Centre for Citizens with Disability, Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Incorporated Trustees of Albino Foundation, Incorporated Trustees of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Incorporated Trustees of Peering Plaintiffs Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa, Incorporated Trustees Of Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, Incorporated Trustees of Centre for Media and Society and Incorporated Trustees of YIAGA Africa Initiative.

On July 6 the civil society organisations petitioned the senate opposing Mr Buhari’s nomination of Ms Onochie, praying for the complete rejection of her nomination as a National Commissioner into INEC.

The groups urged Mr Buhari to withdraw her nomination and requested him to uphold the electoral laws in re-nominating a non-partisan, neutral, and competent Nigerian to represent the South-South region as INEC National Commissioner.

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