Senate bows to pressure, rejects Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner
NEWSMAN, Abuja – Nigerian Senate has finally bowed to pressure from civil society groups, opposition parties and Nigerians in general as they rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner.
The rejection of the presidential aide was based on Federal Character Principle and to adhere strictly to the Act, as the Senate said that she is from Delta State, the same as the other INEC Commissioner, Mary Agbamuche, who is the Chairman, Legal Services, INEC.
The resolution of the Senate was sequel to the consideration of the Senator Kabiru Gaya, APC, Kano South led Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, in his presentation, revealed that the Committee received several petitions against the nominations of Lauretta Onochie and Professor Sani Muhammad Adam.
He disclosed that the petitions against Lauretta Onochie were against the backdrop that 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.