The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said it would deploy all legislative instruments to stop the confirmation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The party also said it is considering legal action if the National Assembly goes ahead to confirm her. PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan at a press conference, called on the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan to immediately return Onochie’s nomination to President Buhari. Ologbondiyan equally told the Senate Committee Chairman on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya, to resist any attempt by Senator Lawan: “To drag him into public ignominy and odium by engaging him to do an incredulous, irresponsible and dirty job of returning a confirmation of Onochie to the Committee of the whole Senate.”
He called on Senator Gaya to immediately stand down all deliberations that concern Onochie before his committee. “Senator Lawan must know that Nigerians are now holding him directly answerable for gross misconduct and impeachable act of perfidy for sending Onochie’s already rejected nomination to the Gaya’s Committee, in utter violation of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and total derision for the sensibility of Nigerians. “Our party reminds Senator Lawan that the reasons that forced his hands to stand down Onochie’s faulted nomination eight months ago have neither changed nor abated. The reasons are still sticking and they are not far-fetched. “In case Lawan needs to be reminded, paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a person involved in partisan politics to hold office as a member of INEC,” Ologbondiyan stated.
He alleged that Onochie is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ward 5 Onicha Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State and also public campaigner for the APC and President Buhari, adding that she cannot, by any stroke of imagination, be appointed as an INEC official at any level and under any guise whatsoever. Ologbondiyan called on PDP members and other democratically minded members of the National Assembly, across party lines, to activate all legislative instruments to shoot down Onochie’s nomination.