The Senate on Tuesday gave reasons for rejecting the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Society gazette reports that the Senate gave its reasons in a statement titled, ‘Senate confirms five nominees as INEC Commissioners, rejects Lauretta Onochie’, by Ezrel Tabiowo, Special Assistant (Press) to President of the Senate.
According to the statement, Lauretta Onochie’s nomination was rejected because of her partisanship and breach of the federal character principle.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), was quoted as saying that the committee also received several petitions against Onochie’s nomination.
He disclosed that the petitions against Lauretta Onochie were against the backdrop that her involvement in politics and alleged membership of a political party.
The lawmaker 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, having studied her curriculum vitae and other relevant documents, 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.