The senate’s rejection of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to the President Muhammadu Buhari was because of her partisanship and breach of federal character principle.
VANTAGE NEWS had reported that Onochie whose nomination by Buhari had attracted opposition from many Nigerians over her affiliation and membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was rejected by the senate committee on Tuesday.
The reason for her rejection was contained in a statement issued by the Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, on Tuesday, titled, ‘Senate confirms five nominees as INEC Commissioners, rejects Lauretta Onochie.’
According to the chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), so many petitions against her nomination were received, most of which were because of her involvement with a political party.
Gaya explained that her nomination violated the Federal Character Principle because there is a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Barr. Mary Agbamuche-Mbu who was screened and confirmed by the 8th assembly.
“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.
Gaya added that 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.
He said, “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.”