The Senate has rejected Lauretta Onochie’s appointment as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October 2020 nominated his social media aide for confirmation by lawmakers as Commissioners of INEC and three others.
Various individuals and groups have long criticised her appointment. They are that she is Buhari’s aide and an alleged party member. However, onochie has, during her screening exercise, mentioned she was non-partisan and not affiliated with any political party.
Former INEC Chairman Atahiru Jega also kicked against the appointment. According to him, “This kind of controversy is really avoidable. Any person who generated such a controversy, the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body”.
The Senate had on Tuesday rejected her appointment following various calls that trailed her nomination, especially from members of the opposition and civil society organisations who allegedly said she was carrying the card of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Recall that Empire had reported Onochie’s claim of being none partisan and added that she had seen the various petitions from the ruling party and its opposition regarding her nomination. She backed her claims with the response that she is known to be non-partisan and someone who insists on due process.
She insisted that since 2019 when Buhari won his second term office, she has nothing to do with any political organisation and did not partake in APC’s recent validation exercise.
What are your thoughts on the appointment of Onochie as INEC Commissioner by President Buhari and her subsequent rejection by the National Assembly?