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Just in: Senate to screen Buhari supporter, Lauretta Onochie as INEC commissioner

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan has asked the committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to screen Lauretta Onochie, a presidential aide, and five others as national commissioner of the electoral body.

At the Senate plenary on Wednesday, Yahaya Abdullahi (Kebbi North) asked the Senate to consider the request of President Buhari on the confirmations of the nominees as commissioners of INEC in accordance with paragraph 14 part I(F) of the third schedule to the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended.

Other nominees are Prof Muhammad Sani Kallah (Commissioner, Katsina); Prof Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Commissioner, Ekiti); Said Babura Ahmad (Commissioner, Jigawa); Prof Sani Muhammad Adam (Commissioner, north-central) and Dr Baba Bills (Commissioner, north-east) while Onochie will represent Delta State.

But before seconding the motion raised by the Senate leader, the Minority leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, asked questions over the appointment of Buhari’s aide, Onochie, who is a card-carrying member of the ruling APC.

“She was rejected but her name have been repacked and has resurface as Commissioner from Delta State,” Abaribe said.

Speaking, the Senate president Ahmad Lawan, said all the nominees are national commissioner-nominees, adding that there is no change of request from the president.

“The request is hereby referred to the committee on INEC to report back in two weeks,” Lawan ruled.

Onochie alongside the five others were nominated and forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Senate for confirmation in October 12 2020.

The nomination drew a lot of outrage from Nigerians as Onochie was not only a social media aide to Mr Buhari but she is also a staunch member of the All Progressive Congress and Buhari-led administration.

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