Senate Explains Onochie’s Rejection as INEC Commissioner

34 Viewed Obiajulu Joel Nwolu 0 respond
Senate Explains Onochie’s Rejection as INEC Commissioner
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

The Senate has explained its rejection of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, as an Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, commissioner.

The red chamber said the decision was informed by Onochie’s partisanship and breach of the federal character principle.

This was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, titled Senate confirms five nominees as INEC Commissioners, rejects Lauretta Onochie’.

Several Nigerians had reacted to Onochie’s nomination, noting that she was too attached to the Buhari administration to be an INEC commissioner.

According to the statement, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), said the committee also received several petitions against the nomination of Onochie.

He explained that the petitions against Lauretta Onochie were against the backdrop of her involvement in politics and alleged membership of a political party.

He explained further that her nomination violated the Federal Character Principle as there is already a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Barr. Mary Agbamuche-Mbu who was screened and confirmed by the 8th Senate.

“In the case of Ms. Lauretta Onochie’s, having studied her curriculum vitae and other relevant documents, followed by exhaustive interaction around the petitions against her nomination which she responded to accordingly, including attesting that she is not a registered member of any political party”, Gaya said.

According to the lawmaker, the Committee bound by the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amendment) on Federal Character Principle, refused to recommend Onochie for confirmation.

“Therefore, based on the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) on Federal Character Principle as earlier stated, and in order for the Committee and the Senate to achieve fairness to other states and political zones in the country, the committee is unable to recommend Ms. Lauretta Onochie for confirmation as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the senate ratified five other nominees following the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on INEC.

The Red Chamber also suspended the nomination of Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North Central) for further investigation by the committee.

Among those confirmed are Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru (North-West), Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Dr. Baba Bila (North-East), and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa).

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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