The nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has been rejected by the Senate.
In his report, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya, said Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the Federal Character Principles.
Explaining further, Senator Gaya said that Onochie’s nomination violated the Federal Character Principle because there is a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Barr. Mary Agbamuche-Mbu who was screened and confirmed by the 8th assembly.
Gaya added that 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.
He said, “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.”
Onochie’s nomination has been a subject of controversy, as many Nigerians opposed the nomination on the grounds that Onochie was a member of the All Progressives Congress.
During her screening last Thursday, Onochie, had insisted she is not partisan.
Admitting that she had seen the petitions against her which were not only from the opposition but also from people in the APC, she said it was because she is known to be non-partisan and someone follows due process.
Onochie, however, maintained she has distanced herself from all things political since President Muhammadu Buhari won his second term.
She said that she has not associated with any political organisation from 2019 and did not take part in APC’s recent validation exercise.