Peoples Democratic Party leaders on Wednesday stormed the National Assembly to protest the nomination of the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission representing Delta State.
The PDP leaders also assured the defecting senators from their party that they would be made to lose their seats in the Senate.
They seized the opportunity to submit a letter of protest against Onochie’s nomination for the INEC top job.
The letter, titled, “Rejection of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner,” and signed by Senator Umaru Ibrahim Tsauri, the National Secretary of PDP, was addressed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya.
It read in part, “The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party 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 outrightly 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.
“Her confirmation will be a wholesome abuse of democratic tenets and dragging the reputation of the President and the Senate in the political mud.
“Please, don’t make an avoidable legislative and political mistake for the country.
“Kindly, accept the assurances of our highest consideration and esteem regard.”