Senate rejects Buhari’s aide Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner

Lauretta Onochie Muhammadu Buhari PA on soocial media

The Senate has rejected the nomination of an aide to the president Lauretta Onochie as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Mrs Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the Federal Character Principles, chairman of the Senate committee on INEC Kabiru Gaya said in his report on Tuesday.

The Senate at the committee of the whole subsequently voted against her nomination.

Onochie’s nomination had raised dust among the opposition and political observers. INEC commissioners are required by law to be non-partisan.

Gaya (APC, Kano South) disclosed that the petitions against 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 Mary Agbamuche-Mbu who was screened and confirmed by the eighth 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.

During her appearance at the Senate last week, Onochie said she stopped being a member of the All Progressives Congress after the 2019 elections. However, she had sworn to be an APC member in a court affidavit.