Why Senate rejected Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner

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The Senate has given reasons why it did not confirm the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to President Muhammadu, as an INEC Commissioner.

According to the Red Chamber, Onocie was rejected because of her partisanship and breach of federal character principle.

Onochie’s nomination had attracted outrage from a large section of Nigerians who argue that she is too partisan to be an INEC commissioner.

In a statement titled, ‘Senate confirms five nominees as INEC Commissioners, rejects Lauretta Onochie’, by Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, on Tuesday.

The statement quoted Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), as saying that the committee also received several petitions against the nomination of Onochie.

“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.

However, the Senate confirmed five other nominees followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on INEC.

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