The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday, July 13, has rejected the nomination of President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special assistant on New Media, Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Senator Kabiru Gaya representing Kano South and chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC while presenting his report, said they rejected Onochie inline with the federal character principles which is enshrined in section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution as amended.
“Her nomination violated the federal character principle and national unity. Other sections of the country have also presented petitions against her nomination.
“In 2016, we confirmed a national commissioner from Delta State, Mrs May Mbu and confirming Lauretta from the same Delta State will violate the federal character,” Gaya said.
Sani Mohammed Adam’s confirmation as the National Commissioner of INEC representing North-Central was also put on hold.
Senate president while making clarification, said Prof Sani Muhammad Adam’s nomination needed more legislative action.
Lauretta Onochie’s nomination was fraught with opposition from citizens owing to the fact that she is a card carrying member of the ruling APC party
Several petitions against her nomination were written, however, she was rejected on grounds that there is already a National Commissioner of INEC from Delta State, Barr May Agbamuche-Mbu.
The committee was unable to forward her name for confirmation because her nomination was negative, thus, she won’t be approved for confirmation.
At an earlier screening of five other nominees for appointment as National Commissioners, Onochie had stated that she was no longer a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The other nominees whose appointment were approved as National Commissioners are: Professor Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Professor Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa) and Dr Baba Bila.