The Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has started the screening of the nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari as national commissioners of the electoral umpire. One of President Buhari’s aides, Lauretta Onochie is among the nominees.
The nomination of Lauretta Onochie who currently serves as Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Buhari has elicited public criticism from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and civil society organizations who are against her nomination on the grounds that she is an alleged card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and is not proper to be appointed as an election officer.
In her introductory remarks, Onochie said she is not partisan. She admitted that she had seen the petitions against her which are not only from the opposition but also from people in the APC. She said the opposition to her candidacy is because she is known to be non-partisan and someone who insists on due process and the right thing to be done. However, Committee members questioned her stance on non-partisanship.
Senator Istifanus Gyang queried that one of the petitions against her has an affidavit affirming her membership of the APC. Senator Ike Ekweremadu in his contribution said he is worried that her nomination is flouting the principle of Federal character.