The Nigerian Senate has rejected Presidential aide Lauretta Onochie as a national commissioner for the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The rejection of Ms Onochie’s contentious appointment to occupy a sensitive position in the country’s electoral umpire followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC which had the responsibility of screening Ms Onochie and the other nominees.
The committee chairman, Kabiru Gaya, who presented the report, recommended that Ms Onochie’s appointment be rejected.
Senator Gaya said she was disqualified based on federal character principles and added that there is currently a serving commissioner from Delta State, where she hails from.
Ms Onochie is presently the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media. She was appointed by the Nigerian leader in October 2020 as an INEC commissioner to represent Delta State – an appointment which had triggered outrage among Nigerians as many described it as unconstitutional.
Several stakeholders including the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and some state governors called on the president to withdraw the nomination on grounds that Ms Onochie is partisan and will be undemocratic for her to be appointed into such an office.
By Abel Ejikeme