Despite denying her allegiance to the All Progressives Congress (APC), an old tweet has now emerged showing that the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Lauretta Onochie, supported and promoted the party in 2020, contrary to her claim that she quitted partisan politics in 2019.
Onochie on Thursday appeared before the Senate Committee on INEC which screened her for the position of national commissioner for the electoral body.
She was nominated for the position by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2020. If confirmed, she will represent Delta State and by extension, the South South geopolitical zone on the Commission.
However, her nomination has triggered outrage among Nigerians with many describing it as unconstitutional.
Many Nigerians have asked the president to withdraw the nomination on grounds that Onochie is partisan and so it would be undemocratic for her to be appointed into such an office.
Civil Society Organisations have also petitioned the Senate opposing Onochie’s appointment. While the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also protested her nomination.
During her screening exercise, Onochie told the senate committee that she is no longer partisan.
Onochie who said she is out of politics, described herself as “madam due process.”
“I have seen the petitions against me but I stand for justice and fairness. Thus nobody has anything to fear. I am madam due process and this is the reason behind my attacks, because I follow the law and due process.
“Since Buhari was elected as president for the second term, I have removed myself from everything about politics. Since 2019, I don’t have anything to do with politics. As I am sitting down here, I am not a member of any political party in this country,” she told the panel.
But Onochie’s claim now appears to be false.
A tweet by the presidential aide on June 24, 2020, showed that she promoted the APC stating that the party was going through a growth process.
Onochie’s tweet was a day before the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) led by Adams Oshiomhole was dissolved by the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Onochie desperate for the position – PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while reacting to the screening exercise knocked the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Onochie for denying her life in a desperation to be appointed INEC national commissioner.
A statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “With her lies, Lauretta Onochie, a die-in-the-wool APC member, whose name appears as number 2 on the ward 4 register of the APC in Aniocha Local Government Area of Delta State, has further demonstrated her lack of integrity to be trusted with the position of a national commissioner in INEC.
“Lauretta Onochie in her escapade in the Senate, may have forgotten that the lawmakers and Nigerians in general are aware of her subsisting oath filed in a pending suit in court affirming her membership of the APC, which she further reinforced and adopted under cross examination in the same matter very recently.”
The PDP said allowing Onochie anywhere near INEC would pollute the commission as well as the conduct of elections.
The party therefore urged the senate committed to stand on the side of the constitution and the sanctity of Nigeria’s electoral process by rejecting the nomination of Onochie as INEC commissioner.