The Nigerian Senate begun the screening and confirmation process of INEC Commissioners on Wednesday, 20th June as the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan forwarded Lauretta Onochie’s name and five others’ as Federal Commissioners to Senator Kabiru Gaya, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano South led Senate Committee on INEC, giving the committee two weeks to carry out legislative action on the list and give a report at Plenary.
Since then, Lauretta Onochie has been in the news on a daily basis, with many lashing her and her boss, as well as the ruling All Progressives Congress APC. While many argued that she is partisan to the core, some others say someone from her zone has already been appointed earlier and her confirmation will be a breach of Federal Character principles. Some others basically think the Buhar-led administration want to APCise the nation while many others say she is just undeserving of the position.Amidst all of these, the Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who is also of the ruling APC sect, insisted that Lauretta Onochie be screened. During her appearance at the Senate meeting, lawmakers strongly demanded that she takes an oath to declare her non-partisanship, which she did, saying she is only Madam Due Process and not a member of the ruling APC. An old tweet dating back to 2020 showed her supporting the APC. This led to more voices standing against her in judgment. As things have taken the turn of the majority, here are 7 of the powerful voices that declined and rejected Lauretta Onochie’s nomination and appointment.
1. Not only did the major opposition People’s Democratic Party condemn Onochie’s nomination in words, the party leaders on Wednesday 30th June, 2021 stormed the National Assembly to demand a reversal of the nomination. Led by its National Chairman, Uche Secondus, the PDP described Onochie’s nomination as a travesty on Nigeria’s democracy. The party argued that Onochie being a card-carrying member of the APC cannot be appointed into a position that requires a high level of neutrality.2. Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike is another strong name on this list. Not only did he condemn Lauretta Onochie off the appointment, he called on President Buhari to withdraw her nomination, saying the desperation of the President and the ruling All Progressives Congress to foist Onochie was a bad omen for the country’s democracy.3. KOKO’s 2020 Woman of the Year, Aisha Yesufu is another strong voice that will rejoice over Lauretta Onochie’s rejection by the Nigerian Senate. According to her, confirming Onochie’s nomination is as wrong as wrong can be as she is an APC member, and if the Senate allows her, Garba Shehu should be expected to be the INEC chairman. Aisha Yesufu didn’t stop there, she went on to slam the Buhari/Osinbajo’s administration as usual, saying the leadership can go as low as can be.4. A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Attahiru Jega, has warned the Senate against confirming the appointment of a presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission to avoid controversy. Stating that the President could withdraw Onochie’s nomination and replace her with another female from her state, Jega said there are many other eligible women for the job.
5. The Chairman, Steering Committee of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), Dr Chima Amadi while addressing journalists in Abuja said Mrs Lauretta lied under an oath when she claimed that she is no longer into partisan politics during her screening at the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and for this, he shuns her nomination. Calling for her arrest, Amadi said Onochie’s action should not be without consequences. He then asked President Buhari to withdraw her nomination, saying INEC is too critical to be subjected to such partisan nomination. According to him, her footprints of partisanship are all over the digital space and her nomination brings credibility issue to the Commission.6. Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA is yet another entity that stood in the way of Onochie’s confirmation as INEC Commissioner, warning the Senate and describing the nominated aide as a person widely known to be deeply divisive and a strong member of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC. HURIWA warned that any attempt to confirm the Delta-born presidential aide as INEC commissioner would be the death nail to the coffin of the independence and impartiality of INEC.
7. The ultimate voice which has now spoken against Lauretta is the powerful Nigerian Senate. The Senate, today Tuesday, 13th July rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission. The Chairman of the Committee, Kabiru Gaya, in his report, said Onochie did not satisfy the provisions of the Federal Character Principles. He cited Section 14 (1) 3 of the Constitution, stating that somebody was already a Commissioner from her zone, and the law remains clear about that. The Senate Committee as a whole subsequently voted against her nomination.TRENDING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Rapper Bia Doesn’t Know What Wizkid, Davido And Burna Boy Look Like Photos Credit: Getty