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Senate rejects Onochie as INEC commissioner

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Lauretta Onochie

Nigerian Senate Tuesday rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

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Chairman of the Committee, Kabiru Gaya, in his report, said Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the Federal Character principles.

“Having studied her curriculum VITAE and other relevant document followed by exhaustive interaction around the petition against her nomination which she responded accordingly including her being a registered member of any political party,” Gaya said.

“However the Committee bound by the provision of section 213 of the 1999 constition of the Federal Republic if Nigeria as amended, which says that the confirmation for appointment of Government of the federation into agencies shall be done in such a manner that it reflects the Federal character and the need to promote National unity to command loyalty thereby ensuring that there is no dominance of persons from one place or a few ethnic or other section.”

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He said the petitions around her nomination were satisfactory defended adding that she also defended herself of not being a registered member of any political party

“In line with the above provision the Senate may wish to recall that in 2016 the Senate based on the recommendation of INEC Committee confirmed Barrister May Agbamuche from Delta State as a National Commissioner of INEC who is still serving at present,” Gaya said.

“Therefore confirming the nomination of Onochie will be a violation of the Federal character principle.”

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Onochie’s nomination has been marred with criticism and protest with many claiming she is an ardent member of the ruling All Progress Congress.

National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus had also stormed the National Assembly with other members of the National Working Committee, NWC to protest against the nomination of Onochie.

Speaking during her screening on Thursday, Onochie said she withdrew her membership of the party in 2019, immediately after President Muhammadu Buhari won his second term in office.

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