INEC Commissioners: Senate commences screening of nominees
Edwin Akwueh, Abuja.
The Senate has begun the screening of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie and five others as National Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on October 12, 2020, nominated Onochie from Delta State, Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa), Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North Central) and Dr Baba Bila representing North East, respectively.
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan asked Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, to second a motion for the screening of the nominees, which he did reluctantly.
Senator Abaribe said he was surprised that Onochie’s name was still included among the nominees to be screened by the Senate and might be subsequently confirmed for appointment by the Senate.
“I am surprised that the name of Lauretta Onochie was still included on the list despite the fact that we have resolved her issue a long time ago.
” I am seconding the motion for the screening of the nominees, reluctantly,” the Minority Leader said.
The Senate President, later referred the executive communication to the Committee on INEC, chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya with a mandate of four weeks to conclude the screening and report back to the Senate in plenary.
It would be recalled that the minority leader, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and many other groups as well as individuals, had eight months ago when the announcement was made, opposed the nomination of Onochie, saying it was morally wrong for the President to nominate his aide, who is also a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC as a commissioner in the nation’s electoral umpire.