On Tuesday, the Senate rejected Lauretta Onochie’s candidacy as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In his report, the Committee’s Chairman, Kabiru Gaya, stated that Onochie did not meet the Federal Character Principles.
Following that, the Senate’s committee of the whole voted against her nomination.
Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), the Committee’s Chairman, stated in his presentation that the Committee had received multiple petitions opposing Ms. Lauretta Onochie and Professor Sani Muhammad Adam’s nominations.
He revealed that the petitions against Lauretta Onochie stemmed from her political participation and purported membership in a political party.
He went on to say that her nomination breached the Federal Character Principle because the 8th Senate had already screened and confirmed a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Barr. Mary Agbamuche-Mbu.
“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 legislator, the Committee rejected to recommend Onochie for confirmation because of the requirements of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amendment) on the Federal Character Principle.
“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 added.
By Olutayo Olusanya