Why was Lauretta Onochie’s nomination for INEC Commissioner rejected by the Senate?


Updated September 27th, 2021 at 07:20 am


Tuesday, the Nigerian Senate rejected Lauretta Onochie’s candidacy as an INEC commissioner.
In October 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari named Lauretta Onochie as an INEC commissioner to represent Delta State. Many Nigerians, including members of the opposition, have criticized her appointment, believing she is too political to serve as an INEC commissioner.

Throughout her screening Thursday, July 8, she stated firmly that she is not nonpartisan. Nonetheless, she stated that since President Buhari’s re-election, she had separated herself from any political matters. She claims she hasn’t been involved in any political events since 2019.

Senate Chairman Kabiru Gaya of Kano South (APC) recommended that her nomination be rejected in a report to the plenary on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, according to a press statement obtained by Punch.

According to the senator, INEC already has a National Commissioner from Delta State, Mary Agbamuche-Mbu, who was previously vetted and confirmed by the eighth Senate, making Lauretta Onochie’s confirmation a violation of federal character laws.

As a result, based on the provisions of Part 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of (as Amended) on the Federal Character Precept as previously stated, and to ensure that the Committee and the Senate achieve equity to different states and political zones within the country, the committee is unable to recommend Ms. Lauretta Onochie for affirmation as a National Electoral Commissioner.

The report was approved, but Onochie was turned down. According to reports, Abdullahi Abdu Zuru (North-West), Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Baba Bila (North-East), and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa) have all been confirmed.

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