Senate confirms five nominees as INEC Commissioners, rejects Lauretta Onochie, steps down one

Haruna Salami


The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of five nominees as Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

This was just as it rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie (Delta) and stepped down that of Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North Central) for further investigation the committee.

The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of a report the Senate Committee on INEC the Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya, (Kano South.

Senator Kabiru Gaya in his presentation, said the Committee received several petitions against the nominations of Ms. Lauretta and Professor Sani Muhammad Adam.

He disclosed that the petitions against were against the backdrop of her involvement in politics and alleged membership of a political party.

He explained further that her nomination violated the Federal Character Principle as there is already a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Barr. Mary Agbamuche-Mbu who was screened and confirmed the 8th Senate.

In the case of Ms. Lauretta ’s, he said, the Committee studied her curriculum vitae and other relevant documents.This was followed exhaustive interaction around the petitions against her nomination which she responded to accordingly, including attesting that she is not a registered member of any political party, Gaya said.

According to the lawmaker, the Committee bound the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amendment) on Federal Character Principle, refused to recommend for confirmation.

“Therefore, based provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) on Federal Character Principle as earlier stated, and in for the Committee and the Senate to achieve fairness to other states and political in the country, the committee is unable to recommend Ms. Lauretta for confirmation as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission”, he explained.

nomination against Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam, the committee recommended that his confirmation be stepped down pending further legislative action the committee.

Accordingly, the Senate while confirming the five nominees, adopted the recommendations of the Committee rejecting nomination and stepping down that of Professor Adam for further action.