The Senate, on Tuesday, rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Onochie’s nomination was rejected after Chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Kabiru Gaya, presented the committee’s report during plenary.
Onochie was nominated for the job by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2020.
Her nomination sparked off outrage over concerns that she is partisan and a member of All Progressives Congress (APC), but the presidential aide said she resigned her membership of the ruling party in 2019.
There have also been demonstrations against Onochie’s nomination by civil society organisations.
While presenting the report, Gaya said Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the federal character principle,adding that there is a serving INEC Commissioner from Delta State where Onochie hails from.
The Senator said Mary Agbamuche-Mbu, INEC Commissioner from Delta State, was confirmed by the Senate in 2016.
“In 2016, we confirmed a National Commissioner from Delta State, Mrs Mary Agbamuche-Mbu and confirming Onochie from the same Delta will violate the federal character,” Gaya said.
The Senate subsequently voted against Onochie’s nomination.
Gaya said further stated that legislative work will be put into the nomination of Sani Adam, noting that his confirmation should be “stepped down.”
The upper legislative chamber, however, confirmed the nomination of Muhammad Kallah, Kunle Ajayi, Saidu Ahmed, Baba Bila and Abdullahi Zuru as INEC commissioners.