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Onochie’s Appointment May Compromise Election Credibility – Jega

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega has advised against the appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a commissioner of the electoral body, stating that the appointing authorities should be careful because her appointment can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body by the electorate.

Jega who disclosed this during an interview while reacting to the appointment of the presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie as INEC National Commissioner, Jega said the controversy trailing her nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari should have been avoided.

He called on the lawmakers to apply the laws regarding the issue, to avoid a situation whereby elections she participates in may be viewed as being bias.

“I’m sorry to say that from some of the documents that I have been privileged to see, both about her British citizens and the highly active participation in a political party up until 2019, you will try to avoid appointing such people into an electoral commission — because it can generate controversy.

“To be honest, the president can also withdraw that nomination. After all, there are so many women with credibility, with capacity, competence in both Delta and across Rivers, so why bring someone that can generate controversy and raise suspicions about the intention of the appointment,” Jega said.

The nomination of Lauretta Onochie who currently serves as Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Buhari had elicited public criticism from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and civil society organizations who are against her nomination on the grounds that she is an alleged card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and is not proper to be appointed as an election officer.

However, during her screening for the position before the Senate, Onochie said she is not partisan. She admitted that she had seen the petitions against her which are not only from the opposition but also from people in the APC. She said the opposition to her candidacy is because she is known to be non-partisan and someone who insists on due process and the right thing to be done.

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