By 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 by the committee.
Senator Kabiru Gaya in his presentation, said the Committee received several petitions against the nominations of Ms. Lauretta Onochie and Professor Sani Muhammad Adam.
He disclosed that the petitions against Onochie 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 by the 8th Senate.
In the case of Ms. Lauretta Onochie’s, he said, the Committee studied her curriculum vitae and other relevant documents.This was followed by 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 by 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 Onochie for confirmation.
“Therefore, based on the 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 order for the Committee and the Senate to achieve fairness to other states and political zones in the country, the committee is unable to recommend Ms. Lauretta Onochie for confirmation as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission”, he explained.