From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, rejected the nomination of presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as national commissioner in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Consequently, the PDP charged the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to return Onochie’s nomination to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, who stated this, at a press briefing, in Abuja, yesterday, said Onochie’s nomination offends paragraph 14 of the 3rd schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Ologbondiyan said the presidential aide is a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ward 5, Onicha Olona, in Anaocha Local Government Area of Delta, therefore cannot be an unbiased empire in elections.
“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.
“Relying on the above in demanding a litmus of respect for the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution, the PDP holds that Onochie, as a card-carrying member of APC and who is also public campaigner for the party and President Buhari, cannot, by any stroke of imagination, be appointed as an INEC official at any level and under any guise whatsoever.
“Our party reminds 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,” he said.
The PDP spokesman added that the party has directed its members and other democratic minded members of the National Assembly across party lines to deploy all legislative instruments to stall Onochie’s nomination.
“The party also directs all our members and all lovers of democracy across the country to get ready to use all legitimate means, including civic action against Lawan and the APC leadership in the Senate if they do not rescind their attempt to confirm Onochie at all costs.
“The intent and purpose of the PDP is to preserve the sanctity and credibility of INEC and our party will never allow Lawan and his APC to smuggle a fox into INEC sheep pen in a bid to corrupt and further desecrate the commission and derail our national effort towards free, fair and credible electoral process in our country,” Ologbondiyan said.