Senate Confirms Five Nominees As INEC Commissioners, Dumps Lauretta Onochie


The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of five nominees as national Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It however dumped the Ms Lauretta Onochie from Delta State and former aide of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Senate also stepped down the confirmation of Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North Central) to allow for further investigation by the committee.

The confirmation of the nominees followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on INEC.

While presenting the report of the Senate Committee on INEC, its Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), said the Committee received several petitions against the nominations of Ms. Lauretta Onochie and Professor Sani Muhammad Adam.

Gaya further said that the petitions against Onochie were against the backdrop of her involvement in politics and alleged membership of a political party.

He particularly said that Onochie’s nomination also violated the Federal Character Principle as there is already a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State in the person of Barr. Mary Agbamuche-Mbu, who was screened and confirmed by the 8th Senate.

According to Gaya; “In the case of Ms. Lauretta Onochie’s, the committee members studied her curriculum vitae and other relevant documents and 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”.

He explained that 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.

He said; “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”.

On the nomination of Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam, the committee recommended that his confirmation be stepped down pending further legislative action by the committee.

Accordingly, the Senate adopted the recommendations of the Committee by rejecting Onochie’s nomination and stepping down that of Professor Adam for further action.

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