1 July 2021
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THE national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Wednesday, besieged the Senate to protest the nomination of the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Lauretta Onochie, as a Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) nominated Onochie to represent Delta State on the INEC Board, as a National Commissioner.
The PDP equally gave notice of its plans to retrieve seats of all its federal legislators who dumped the party.
National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, members of the party’s National Working Committee, as well as other party supporters besieged the main entrance of the National Assembly at about 12:30pm to register their displeasure over Onochie’s nomination.
PDP’s position was contained in a letter titled, ‘Rejection of the Nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner,’ which was signed by its National Secretary, Senator Umaru Tsauri and addressed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC.
The letter read in part, “The NWC of the PDP has learnt of the nomination of Mrs. Lauretta Onochie as a Commissioner in INEC by Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The nomination which was read on the floor of the Senate and forwarded to your committee for screening has created a lot of misgivings in the court of public opinion and judgement.
“Our Party considers it as important to bring to the attention of your committee the fact that our duty is to let you know that the National Assembly must endeavour to do things right and in accordance with the dictates of the laws of the country.
“The Nigeria Constitution 1999 as amended clearly prohibits people like Mrs. Onochie, who is very partisan, in fact, a card-carrying member of a political party to be appointed into INEC as an electoral umpire.
“Section 156(i)(a) and third schedule, Part 1, Item F, Paragraph 14(1) of the Constitution have rightly disqualified her.
“We are, therefore, writing to ask the Chairman to save the Senate President, the Senate itself and Mr. President from being ridiculed.
“We call on your committee to reject the nomination of Mrs. Onochie because she cannot be neutral or independent as she is factually known to be an unrepentant card-carrying member of the APC with uncountable number of proofs”.
The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South) and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, received the party executives and promised to kick against the nomination.