Popular Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint one of his aides, Lauretta Onochie, as a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Falana in a statement on Tuesday hours after the appointment was announced stated that a card-carrying member of a registered political party was not fit for such a role.
This was also conveyed in a letter written to the Senate on Tuesday, which was later read by Senator Ahmed Lawan at plenary.
Falana listed some criteria provided in the constitution to determine who was fit for the position.
He said, “In view of the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari to fill some vacancies in the Independent National Electoral Commission, it has become pertinent to draw the attention of the Council of State and Senate to the following provisions of the constitution.”
The senior lawyer noted that it is required of Buhari or any other President to consult with the council of states before appointing the members of the electoral commission pursuant to section 154 (3) of the constitution;
“Paragraph B of Part 1 of the 3rd Schedule to the constitution provides that ‘The Council of State shall have power to advise the President in the exercise of his powers with respect to (iv) the Independent National Electoral Commission including the appointment of the members of the commission,” said the Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“Pursuant to section 154 (1) of the constitution, the appointment of the members of the Independent National Electoral Commission shall be subject to confirmation by the Senate.
“Paragraph 14 of Part 1 of the third Schedule to the constitution as amended by Section 30, Act No 1 of 2010, a member of the Independent National Electoral Commission ‘shall be non-partisan,’” he said.