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Onochie still APC card-carrying member, PDP tells senate


The Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday called on the Senate to reject the nomination of Presidential Aide, Lauretta Onochie as Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The PDP insisted that it is an aberration to deploy a card-carrying member of the opposition party as INEC commissioner.

The party National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, gave the advice at a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ologbondiyan said the reason the National Assembly stood down Onochie’s nomination eight months ago had neither changed nor abated.

He advised the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan to respect the will of Nigerians and the country’s constitution by immediately return the nomination.

Ologbondiyan also called on the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Sen. Kabiru Gaya, to resist any attempt to confirm Onochie but return the nomination to the Committee of the Whole Senate.

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“The PDP charges Gaya to immediately stand down all deliberations that concern Onochie before his committee.

“Lawan must know that Nigerians are now holding him directly answerable for gross misconduct and impeachable act of perfidy for sending Onochie’s already rejected nomination to the Gaya’s Committee, in utter violation of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and total derision for the sensibility of Nigerians.

“Our party reminds Senator 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.

Ologbondiyan said that 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.

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“Relying on the above in demanding for a litmus of respect for the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution, the PDP holds that Onochie, as a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ward 5 Onicha Olona, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

”She is also a public campaigner for the APC and the President, and cannot, by any stroke of imagination, be appointed as an INEC official at any level and under any guise whatsoever,” he said.

He said that any attempt to appoint Onochie into INEC was an act of violation of the 1999 constitution and against the will of Nigerians, which must never be allowed to stand.

“Therefore, the PDP directs our members and other democratically minded members of the National Assembly, across party lines, to activate and deploy all legislative instruments at their disposal against Onochie’s confirmation as a National Commissioner of INEC.

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“The PDP 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 Sen. Lawan and the APC leadership in the Senate if they do not rescind their attempt to confirm Onochie at all costs,” he said.

Ologbondiyan said that the intent and purpose of the PDP was to preserve the sanctity and credibility of INEC as part of national effort towards free, fair and credible electoral process in the country.

He said the party would take legal action against Lawal, Gaya and the National Assembly if the nomination of Onochie is passed.