The Christian Association of Nigeria has faulted the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the South-South in the Independent National Electoral Commission, describing it as “an executive recklessness, a dirty slap on the populace, and a gross violation of the 1999 constitution (as Amended).”
A statement by the President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, therefore called on the Senate to reject her nomination.
Ayokunle said, “As far as CAN is concerned, Onochie suffers objectivity, justice and fairness that are mandatory for every member of INEC as a result of her partisan membership of a political party and by being an appointee of the ruling party.
“We are equally opposed to her nomination because of her unguarded remarks, public insults on credible individuals and the use of vulgar language and unprintable words against people who express their displeasure to some actions and policies of the government of the day, especially, her principal.
Meanwhile, opposition to the nomination of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as the South-South National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission thickened on Thursday with about 20 civil society organisations heading for court stop her confirmation.
The CSOs have also petitioned the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and the Chairman of the National Peace Committee and former Head of State, Gen. Abubakar Abdulsalami.
This was as the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, called on the President, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to immediately withdraw Onochie’s nomination.
The CSOs disclose their moves at a press conference in Abuja addressed by the Executive Director, Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre and Convener, Say No Campaign, Ezenwa Nwagwu; and Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Faith Nwadishi.
Other members of the coalition include Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi (Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre); Samson Itodo (Yiaga Africa); Ibrahim Zikirullahi (Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education); Okechukwu Nwagwuma (Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre); Idayat Hassan (Centre for Democracy Development); and Vivian Bello (Social Action).
Nwagwu said the 1999 Constitution expressly provided that the National Electoral Commissioners of INEC shall be non-partisan and persons of unquestionable integrity, who shall be nominated by the President.
On his part, Tambuwal, while speaking at the swearing-in of the chairman and members of the Sokoto State Independent Electoral Commission in Sokoto, noted that Onochie’s nomination by Buhari was morally wrong.
He said, “I am appealing to PMB to rise above sentiments and do the needful; go by the Constitution as President of Nigeria and not the President of the All Progressives Congress to withdraw the nomination of Onochie in the interest of this country.”
Akwa Ibom PDP Chairman, Udo Ekpenyong, Dies
The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Udo Ekpenyong, is dead.
Mr Ekpenyong died on Monday in Uyo, an official of the Akwa Ibom government who did not want his name mentioned, told PREMIUM TIMES, Tuesday morning.
The official said the chairman died of COVID-19.
Late Mr Ekpenyong, before his election as the state PDP chairman last year was the commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state. He was known to be a strong ally of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Akwa Ibom State lost two other prominent figures recently, a former Chief of Air Staff, Nsikak Edouk who died of renal failure, and a former military governor of the state, Idongesit Nkanga who died of COVID-19.
Lagos Police Hail Igboelerin Youths for Resisting Robbery Attack
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has commended youths of Igboelerin community for their bravery in resisting an arms robbery attack and recovering dangerous weapons in the bargain.
According to a statement signed by the command’s PPRO, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the criminals invaded the community at about 11:30pm on Sunday, but were dislodged by the daring youths.
“On 17th January 2021, at about 11.30pm, the youths of Igboelerin community in Lagos State resisted a robbery attack on the community when they dislodged some suspected armed robbers that wanted to rob the community.
“The suspected armed robbers came on 2 unregistered bikes with the intention of attacking their targets before they were repelled by the youths who have been involved in the community policing strategies of the command. One unregistered operational bike and one locally made pistol with a life cartridge were recovered from them.
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, while commending the youths of the area, has ordered for the manhunt and arrest of the fleeing armed robbers. He encouraged Lagosians to embrace the idea of community-based policing which has paid off in many areas of the state,” the statement read.
Policeman Prostrates, Begs After Threatening Panel Member in Ogun
There was disquiet at the Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation Against Police Brutality when a policeman, Sergeant Adeleke Olalekan, allegedly threatened members of the panel.
The panel, which sat at the Magistrate Court 1, Isabo, Abeokuta, on Monday, was cross-examining the Officer in-Charge of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, CSP Gbenga Megbope.
Olalekan had accompanied his boss, Megbope, who was a respondent in a case of brutality against some people in the state.
Olalekan was, however, allegedly caught pointing at the panel members in a manner suggestive of threats.
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi, called him out and booked him for punishment as stipulated under the commission of inquiry law.
While reading out the law against the policeman’s action, the chairman said, “Any act of disrespect, insult or threat to the commissioners or any panel members while sitting in commission or any act of disrespect, insult or threat to a commissioner or panel members at any other time or place on account of his proceedings in his capacity as a commissioner or panel member shall be deemed to be an act of contempt within the meaning of this law under Section 16 of the same law.”
Olugbemi noted that the sergeant ought to be recommended for trial at a magistrate’s court.
But Olalekan, while being questioned, prostrated and pleaded for forgiveness.
The panel pardoned him, while the chairman warned against disrespect for the panel.