From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, has declared that the 2023 General Elections will not only lack credibility but will be a huge joke, should National Assembly go ahead to confirm, Ms. Laurreta Onochie as an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Commissioner.
Rafsanjani said this on Channels Television breakfast programme ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Friday.
The presidential aide, had on Thursday disavowed the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC) during her screening by the Senate Committee on INEC, claiming that she stopped being a member since 2019.
Onochie was among those screened for confirmation as National Commissioners for INEC. She had, prior to her nomination, swore to an affidavit affirming her membership of the party.
Onochie who said she is out of politics, described herself as “madam due process”, said: “I have seen the petitions against me but I stand for justice and fairness. Thus nobody has anything to fear. I am madam due process and this is the reason behind my attacks, because I follow the law and due process”, she concluded.
According to Rafsanjani, it will amount to subverting the will of the people who are opposed the nomination of Onochie as INEC Commissioner because of her partisanship.
According to him: “I am urging NASS to respect the broad views of Nigerians if they (Senators) are truly the representatives of the people. Laurreta Onochie, as far as I am concerned is an appointee of the sitting President who is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). She has sympathy for APC, she cannot be an INEC Commissioner.
“At a time INEC is working hard to be independent, let us not corrupt the system. I will be highly disappointed if the Senate clears Onochie to become an INEC Commissioner. If that happens then 2023 General Elections will be a huge joke”, the CISLAC boss stated.
He stressed the need for the respect of the Constitution on the appointment of INEC Commissioners, wondering why the law and rules should be thrown out of the window to impose Onochie on Nigerians against their wish.
“If I were to be in Onochie’s shoes, I will just withdraw from this exercise because of the uproar and controversy the INEC job have generated”, Rafsanjani said.
Onochie was nominated for the position by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2020. If confirmed, she will represent Delta State and by extension, the South-South geopolitical zone on the Commission.