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Falana: Lauretta Onochie’s Appointment As INEC Commissioner Illegal….Falana

Falana: Lauretta Onochie’s Appointment As INEC
Commissioner Illegal …
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria and the Interim Chairman,
Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Mr
Femi Falana, has faulted the appointment of Mrs Loretta
Onochie as an Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) Commissioner.
Falana said Mrs Loretta Onochie is an unrepentant member
of the ruling party and has consistently attacked members
of other political parties as against the legal qualification for
the appointment of a member of the commission. It would
be recalled that Mrs Onochie is currently occupying the
position of President Muhammed Buhari’s Special Assistant
on Social Media.
The Senior Advocate made this known in a statement
issued to Oniftv , on Tuesday, in Lagos. He said
that her appointment contravenes Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of
the Third Schedule to the Constitution as amended by
Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010.
“In view of the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari to
fill some vacancies in the Independent National Electoral
Commission, it has become pertinent to draw the attention
of the Council of State and the Senate to the following
provisions of the Constitution.
“Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the
Constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, a
member of the Independent National Electoral Commission
“shall be non-partisan”. From the foregoing, it is crystal
clear that a card-carrying member of a registered political
party or a well-known supporter of a particular political
party is constitutionally disqualified from the membership of
the Independent National Electoral Commission.
As an unrepentant member of the ruling party, Mrs Loretta
Onochie has consistently attacked members of other
political parties. “To that extent, she is partisan and
therefore not qualified to be a member of the Independent
National Electoral Commission,” he said.
While citing other sections of the constitution regarding the
appointment of the INEC Commissioners, Falana said that it
is within the purview of the Council of State to advise the
President in the exercise of his powers with respect to the
appointment of members to the commission. Femi further
explained that the constitution also stipulated that the
appointment shall be subject to the confirmation of the
Senate.
“In appointing the members of the INEC the President is
required to consult with the Council of State pursuant to
section 154 (3)of the Constitution “Paragraph B of Part 1 of
the 3rd Schedule to the Constitution provides that “The
Council of State shall have the power to advise the
President in the exercise of his powers with respect to (iv)
the Independent National Electoral Commission including
the appointment of the members of the Commission.
“Pursuant to section 154 (1) of the Constitution, the
appointment of the members of the Independent National
Electoral Commission shall be subject to confirmation by
the Senate,” Femi stated.

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