Senate President Ahmad Lawan has asked the committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to screen Lauretta Onochie, a presidential aide, as commissioner of the electoral body.
Lawan‘s directive is coming eight months after President Muhammadu Buhari asked the upper legislative chamber to screen and confirm her. The president sent his request for her confirmation in October 2020.
Many Nigerians condemned the nomination because they believe Onochie is partisan. She is a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onochie’s nomination and that of Muhammad Kallah, Kunle Ajayi, Saidu Ahmad, Sani Adam and Baba Bila were referred to the INEC panel after Yahaya Abdullahi, senate leader, moved a motion.
But when Enyinnaya Abaribe, senate minority leader, was called on to second the motion, he protested.
“In seconding this motion, we had dealt with the matter of renomination of Lauretta Onochie,” he said.
“We feel surprised that that same name has resurfaced not as a national commissioner but as a Delta state commissioner, Mr President, reluctantly, I second the motion.”
Lawan clarified that the nominees are not state commissioners but national.
He then gave the INEC committee two weeks to report back on the nominations.