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    Amid Outrage, Senate Begins Screening Of Buhari’s Aide, Lauretta Onochie, Others As Electoral Officers

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    Jul 8, 2021

    The Senate has started the screening of nominees for appointment as National Commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 

    The nominees, including Lauretta Onochie, the Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, had arrived the Senate for the exercise, Punch reports.


    It was gathered that Onochie arrived at the Senate wing of the National Assembly about 11 am; accompanied by the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Babajide Omoworare.

     

    She was immediately ushered into the office of the Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Kabri Gaya.

     

    Onochie was awaiting her turn to be screened by the Senate panel as of the time of filing this report.

     

    Onochie was nominated as an INEC commissioner by Buhari in October 2020.

     

    Eight months after her nomination, Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, asked the Committee on INEC to commence the screening process.

     

    Her nomination had attracted the outrage of Nigerians, especially the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party which argued that Onochie is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress; and by virtue of her political affiliation with the APC, she is not fit and proper to be appointed as an election officer.

     

    The party argued that Onochie would pollute the atmosphere of neutrality, and fair play in the Commission if the Senate goes ahead to approve her nomination.

     

    In June, Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the PDP, led a protest to the National Assembly, Abuja over the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, as National Commissioner of the INEC representing the South-South.

     

     

    Other nominees include Professor Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Professor, Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa).

     

    They also included Professor Sani Muhammad Adam (North-Central); Dr Baba Bila (North East).

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    Saharareporters, New York

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