Senate screens Buhari’s Aide, Onochie, five others as INEC commissioners

The Senate on Wednesday directed the Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to screen President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, and five other nominees as INEC commissioners

This follows President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-presentation for the confirmation of Lauretta Onochie, his Special Assistant on Social Media, and five others for appointment as National Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Onochie’s previous nomination was turned down on October 12, 2020, by the Senate, following an outcry by some senators on her nomination.

Lauretta Onochie

Presenting an executive communication from the Buhari, seeking the confirmation of the nominees at plenary on Wednesday, leader of the Senate, Sen.Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi -North) said:

“That the Senate do consider the request of Mr President on the confirmation of the nomination of the following persons for appointment as commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in accordance with paragraph 14 part I(F) of the third schedule to the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“The nominees are Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Commissioner Katsina); Lauretta Onochie (Commissioner Delta), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Commissioner Ekiti); Saidu Babura Ahmad (Commissioner Jigawa); Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (Commissioner North- Central) and Dr Baba Bila (Commissioner North- East).’’

However, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia) and minority leader, when asked to second the motion by the Senate leader, said Lauretta Onochie as a nominee had been rejected by the Senate earlier.

However, the Senate INEC panel, which has Senator Kabiru Gaya as Chairman, has a month to conclude the screening and report back to the red chamber at plenary.