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Senate rejects Lauretta Onochie’s nomination as INEC Commissioner [update]

The Nigerian Senate, on Tuesday, rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie for appointment as National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Senate President Ahmad Lawan has tasked the Senate Committee on INEC to study her application and revert back to the Senate in one week.

Committee Chairman, Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano), while presenting the report of the screening of the nominees, told the Senate that it was against the federal character principle to have two persons from the same state as INEC National Commissioner, hence the rejection.

He cited the presence of Mrs May Agbamuche Mbu from Delta, as a National Commissioner of INEC, as the Senate also stood down the confirmation of Prof. Sani Adam (North-Central) for further legislative work.

When it was put to a vote, the Senate at the committee of the whole voted against her nomination.

The nomination was met with stiff criticism from several quarters as Onochie is a known card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Upper House, however, confirmed five other nominees, including Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah, (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Ahmad (Jigawa), Dr Baba Bila (North-East) and Prof. Abdullahi Zuru (North-West).

Their confirmation followed the adoption of the report of the Committee on the screening of the INEC nominees at plenary on Tuesday.

Onochie’s nomination was rejected by the Senate for reasons bordering on potential violation of the Federal Character Principle.

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