Senate Postpones Probe Of CCT Chairman Indefinitely

CCT Insists Justice Danladi Umar Is Tribunal Chairman
File photo: Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar

 

The Senate has indefinitely postponed the investigation of the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, in the case of assault brought by a petitioner Mr. Clement Sargwat and his lawyers.

The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition which is tasked with investigating the assault case is disclosing that Mr. Umar has gotten an originating summon from the court last week, challenging the jurisdiction of the Senate and its committee to continue to entertain the case of assault brought before it.

He is asking the court to determine whether or not the Senate is usurping the powers of the police and the court.

[READ ALSO] Assault: CCT Chairman Absent At Senate Committee Hearing

Presenting the court summon, the Chairman of the Committee Senator Ayo Akinyelure announced the decision of his committee to set aside the case, pending the outcome of the case in court.

However the lawyer to the Petitioner, Timizing Venjiris maintained that the Ethics committee cannot be restrained from going on with its investigation noting all that was served the Senate was a mere originating summon which he said was not an Order of any court stopping the Senate from concluding its investigation into the matter.

The committee however set aside the case indefinitely.

Why We Voted For E-Transmission Of Results With Conditions – Senate President

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has advanced reasons to justify the position taken by the Senate on the electronic transmission of election results.

The Senate on Thursday, while considering the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill, voted that “The Commission(INEC) may consider the electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”

Lawan explained that the Upper Chamber voted the way it did in defense of about half of the Nigerian voters whose votes may not be counted with immediate deployment or application of electronic transmission of election results.

The Senate President spoke to journalists at the weekend while on a constituency visit to his Yobe North Senatorial District.

READ ALSO: Eid-El-Kabir: IGP Assures Nigerians Of Sustained Efforts At Improving Security

Asked to comment on the passage of the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill, Lawan said: “I’m happy that we have been able to pass the amendment even though some people are complaining of what we have passed in the Senate and probably what the House of Representatives has also passed.

“When the majority of Senators voted against immediate application or deployment of electronic transmission of results from the polling units, to the ward, to the local government, states and federal, they didn’t say they do not believe in electronic transmission (of election results).

“All of us in the Senate, 109 of us, believe that at one point, our electoral process must deploy electronic transmission so that it eases and enhances the electoral process and give it more credibility and integrity.

“But you see, when you have not reached that stage where you could deploy the electronic transmission from every part of the country, then you have to be very careful. And no matter what anybody may say, you cannot have about 50 percent of Nigerian voters not participating or not getting their votes counted in elections and say it doesn’t matter, that we have to start the electronic transmission.

“We know the evils of not transmitting results electronically but compare the evils of electronically transmitting just half of the electoral votes from Nigerians and say you have elected a President with 50 percent only.

“And others have voted but their results or their votes could not be electronically transmitted. This is disenfranchising Nigerians and we are not going to support this kind of thing because essentially, we are supposed to be fair to every part of Nigeria and when we voted, every part of Nigeria voted for and against(the amendment).

“What I mean here is that you have Senators from the northern part of Nigeria who voted for electronic transmission. Maybe that is their belief or their environment is ready for electronic transmission. And you have Senators from the southern part of Nigeria who voted against the immediate deployment of electronic transmission but they support that the electronic transmission of results should be allowed after certain conditions are met and the conditions are simple: The National Communication Commission(NCC) had provided the technical information that only NCC could give – that only about 50 percent of the Nigerian environment, the polling units, in the country could possibly have their results electronically transmitted.

“So what happens to the other 50 percent. So we believe that all of us in the Senate were aiming at the same target but chose to go through different routes and that is why in my concluded remarks in the Senate after the debate and voting, I said there was no Victor, no Vanquish because we all meant well.

“And for those Nigerians who still feel that the electronic transmission should have just been allowed to take effect, I said well, this is how democracy works. Democracy is to allow those minority views to be expressed and democracy provides that the majority views will always prevail.”

The Senate President faulted some media reports that insinuated that only the APC Senators voted against the immediate application of the electronic transmission of results.

He said the votes cast on either side of the subject matter cut across party lines and regional divides.

“In this respect, it was not just APC. I have seen it reported in the media that only APC Senators voted against the immediate deployment of electronic transmission.

“There are PDP Senators who voted against that but it appears that some people want to target APC Senators. There were PDP Senators who voted against the immediate deployment. I’m using the word ‘immediate’ with an emphasis.

“Nobody said don’t use electronic transmission at all. You use it when we reach there and only NCC can give you information. That is the main reason why, in the Senate version, clause 52(3), there is that provision to contact the NCC because INEC will not know until they go to NCC.

“So NCC will be the only institution to give that information because they are competent and it’s within their jurisdiction. And we say the National Assembly should approve of it.

“It is not when they want to do transmission that they will have to go to National Assembly that we want to do the transmission. No. That once NCC has told INEC is now ready. INEC should come to the National Assembly with the NCC and say we are now ready.

“There is no way any National Assembly, not even this Ninth National Assembly will deny INEC the use of electronic transmission as part of our electoral process when we are ready for it,” Lawan said.

The Senate President said it was wrong to conclude that Senators who voted for electronic transmission with conditions did not like the results transmitted electronically.

“I want to take this opportunity to debunk that insinuation or outright castigation of Senators that voted against the immediate deployment of electronic transmission that they don’t like the electronic transmission. It is not true.

“Even though I didn’t vote. But I believe that what my colleagues did is binding on all of us in the Senate. 28 against 52…l believe that what we have done requires that the Senate and the House will each constitute a conference committee. What we call harmonisation for the two sides. When we harmonise, then we will send it to Mr President,” Lawan said.

FULL LIST: How Senators Voted For Electronic Transmission Of Election Results

A file photo of lawmakers at the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

 

The Senate on Thursday passed the electoral amendment bill amid tensions over how electronic transmission of votes should be implemented.

A report by the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had suggested that electronic transmission be employed by INEC where practicable, as contained in section 52(3) of the bill.

But Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), during consideration of the report, moved that INEC should only consider electronic transmission if the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

Senator Abdullahi’s motion was seconded by Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South).

But some Senators disagreed, plunging the Senate into disarray.

Senate minority leader Enyinnanya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) then called for public voting.

According to Abaribe, the process would allow Nigerians to know who is voting for what.

The Senators proceeded to publicly vote along party lines.

In the end, 28 Senators, all from the PDP, voted for the original amendment in the report while 52 Senators, all from the APC, voted for the amendment as proposed by Senator Abdullahi.

Below is a list of how they voted:

Those who voted for NCC Clearance:

▪︎Ovie Omo-Agege (APC-Delta Central)

▪︎Peter Nwaoboshi (APC-Delta North)

Mohammed Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South)

▪︎Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti Central)

▪︎Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir (APC-Sokoto East)

▪︎Mohammed Danjuma Goje (APC-Gombe Central)

▪︎Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC-Taraba Central)

▪︎Bomai Ibrahim Mohammed (APC-Yobe South)

▪︎Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (APC-Zamfara North)

▪︎Uba Sani (APC-Kaduna Central)

▪︎Kabiru Gaya (APC-Kano South)

▪︎Ishaku Elisha Abbo (APC-Adamawa North)

▪︎Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC-Katsina North)

▪︎Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi Central)

▪︎Yahaya Abdullahi (APC-Kebbi North)

▪︎Yakubu Oseni (APC-Kogi Central)

▪︎Isah Jibrin (APC-Kogi East)

▪︎Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi West)

▪︎Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC-Kwara Central)

▪︎Oluremi Tinubu (APC-Lagos-Central)

▪︎Solomon Adeola (APC-Lagos-West)

▪︎Tanko Al-Makura (APC-Nasarawa South)

▪︎Godiya Akwashiki (APC-Nasarawa North)

▪︎Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa West)

▪︎Mohammed Sani Musa (APC-Niger East)

▪︎Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger North)

▪︎Birma Mohammed Enagi (APC-Niger South)

▪︎Nora Ladi Dadu’ut (APC-Plateau South)

▪︎Francis Alimikhena (APC-Edo North)

▪︎Abubakar Kyari (APC-Borno North)

▪︎Surajudeen Ajibola (APC-Osun Central)

▪︎Robert Ajayi Boroffice (APC-Ondo North)

▪︎Orji Uzor Kalu (APC-Abia North)

▪︎Aderele Oriolowo (APC-Osun West)

▪︎Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (APC-Adamawa Central)

▪︎Degi Eremienyo (APC-Bayelsa East)

▪︎Ashiru Yisa (APC-Kwara South)

▪︎Bello Mandiya (APC-Katsina South)

▪︎Hezekiah Dimka Ayuba (APC-Plateau Central)

▪︎Francis Ibezim (APC-Imo North)

▪︎Kashim Shettima (APC-Borno Central)

▪︎Stephen Odey (APC-Cross River North)

▪︎Shuaibu Isa Lau (APC-Taraba North)

▪︎Alkali Saidu (APC-Gombe North)

▪︎Amos Bulus (APC-Gombe South)

▪︎Danladi Sankara (APC-Jigawa North-West)

▪︎Hadejia Hassan Ibrahim (APC-Jigawa North-East)

▪︎Suleiman Abdul Kwari (APC-Kaduna North)

▪︎Abdullahi Barkiya (APC-Katsina Central)

▪︎Jika Dauda Haliru (APC-Bauchi Central)

▪︎Lawali Anka (APC-Zamfara West)

▪︎Lawal Yahaya Gamau (APC-Bauchi South)

Those who voted for INEC to unilaterally decide to transmit results

▪︎Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia South)

▪︎Francis Adenigba Fadahunsi (PDP-Osun East)

▪︎Clifford Ordia (PDP-Edo Central)

▪︎Matthew Urhoghide (PDP-Edo South)

▪︎Gyang Istifanus (PDP-Plateau North)

▪︎George Sekibo (PDP-Rivers East)

▪︎Biodun Olujimi (PDP-Ekiti South)

▪︎Mpigi Barinada (PDP-Rivers South-East)

▪︎Betty Apiafi (PDP-Rivers West)

▪︎Philip Aduda (PDP-Abuja FCT)

▪︎Chukwuka Utazi (PDP-Enugu North)

▪︎Ibrahim Abdullahi Danbaba (PDP-Sokoto South)

▪︎Danjuma La’ah (PDP-Kaduna South)

▪︎Francis Onyewuchi (PDP-Imo East)

▪︎Patrick Ayo Akinyelure (PDP-Ondo Central)

▪︎Kola Balogun (PDP-Oyo South)

▪︎Eyankeyi Akon Etim (PDP-Akwa Ibom South)

▪︎Christopher Ekpenyong (PDP-Akwa Ibom North-West)

▪︎Seriake Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa West)

▪︎Cleopas Zuwoghe (PDP-Bayelsa Central)

▪︎Emmanuel Orker-jev (PDP-Benue North-West)

▪︎Sandy Onor (PDP-Cross River Central)

▪︎Gershom Bassey (PDP-Cross River South)

▪︎James Manager (PDP-Delta South)

▪︎Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi Central)

▪︎Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi North)

▪︎Nnachi Ama Micheal (PDP-Ebonyi South)

▪︎Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North-East)

Senators who were absent

▪︎Theodore Orji (PDP-Abia Central)

▪︎Yaroe Binos Dauda (PDP-Adamawa South)

▪︎Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra North)

▪︎Ike Ekweramadu (PDP-Enugu West)

▪︎Patrick Ifieanyi Uba (YPP-Anambra South)

▪︎Adetokunbo Abiru (APC-Lagos East)

▪︎Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi South)

▪︎Tolu Odebiyi (APC-Ogun West)

▪︎Ibikunle Amosun (APC-Ogun Central)

▪︎Olalekan Mustapha (APC-Ogun East)

▪︎Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP-Ondo South)

▪︎Teslim Folarin (APC-Oyo Central)

▪︎Buhari Abdulfatai (APC-Oyo North)

▪︎Aliyu Wamakko (APC-Sokoto North)

▪︎Ibrahim Shekarau (APC-Kano Central)

▪︎Lilian Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra Central)

▪︎Gabriel Suswam (PDP-Benue North-East)

▪︎Abba Moro (PDP-Benue South)

▪︎Mohammed Bulkachuwa (APC-Bauchi North)

▪︎Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba South)

▪︎Mohammed Hassan (APC-Zamfara Central)

▪︎Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC-Ekiti North)

▪︎Chimaroke Nnamani (PDP-Enugu East)

▪︎Rochas Okorocha (APC-Imo West)

▪︎Mohammed Sabo (APC-Jigawa South-West)

▪︎Barau Jibrin (APC-Kano North)

▪︎Ibrahim Gaidam (APC-Yobe East)

▪︎Umar Sadiq (APC-Kwara North)

Electronic Transmission: We Must Do That Which Is In Nigerians’ Best Interest – Gbajabiamila

 

Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday, reminded his distinguished colleagues that their deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill come at a very special moment in the nation’s history, one which would require them to do all in the best interest of Nigerians.

Addressing other legislators during a heated plenary on the electronic transmission of poll results on Thursday, the House of Reps Speaker warned that whatever decision is taken must not be done out of selfish interest.

“The reason why I think we should get it right is that this is a moment in history and we should do whatever in our conscience that we believe is in the best interest of Nigeria,” the Speaker advised his colleagues.

While urging lawmakers to stop shouting each other down, Gbajabiamila stressed that no one can impose their own will over others, adding that the decision on the contentious bill must only be made when all democratic options have been explored.

READ ALSO: Senate Approves Conditional Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

 

A rowdy session

Prior to the Speaker’s address, the House of Reps seemed a place where cats and mice were at each other’s heels.

Things fell apart on Thursday after Deputy Speaker Idris Wase ruled against electronic transmission of results despite a resounding vote in favour of electronic transmission.

Plenary on Thursday continued its deliberations on the amendment of section 52(3) of the electoral act amendment bill, with Honourable Wase chairing the session instead of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who is on the floor of the House.

READ ALSO: Senators Vote Along Party Lines Over Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

The new amendment provides that INEC may consider electronic transmission so far the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by Nigeria Communication Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

Having taken quite a while to deliberate on the matter, the lawmakers voted orally, and the Deputy Speaker clanged the gavel ruling against electronic transmission of results despite a resounding chorus in support of E-Transmission.

READ ALSO: Senate Approves Conditional Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

After a while calm was restored in the House and deliberations continued with some congressmen calling for a proper division on the matter.

Another round of votes was called for and again the Deputy Speaker, despite a resounding vote in favour of an amendment for manual and electronic transmission of results, ruled against ayes, sending the House into yet another frenzy.

This time it proved almost impossible for the House to be called to order, but decorum returned after a while.

READ ALSO: House Of Reps Steps Down PIB

A motion to suspend consideration and revert to plenary was moved and seconded, but lawmakers voted against it, however, the house eventually reverted to plenary.

In reporting progress, the deputy speaker stated that the controversial clause 52 has been considered and approved but some lawmakers insisted that this is not the case; this leads to heated arguments with two lawmakers Ifeanyi Momah and Shehu Koko get involved in a heated exchange.

Another lawmaker Yusuf Gagdi went out of control and members took great effort to restrain him, forcing Speaker Gbajabiamila to take back his seat as chair of the House and moved that the session be adjourned.

Senate Approves Conditional Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, speaks during a session in the Senate Chamber in Abuja.

 

The Nigerian Senate has approved the conditional electronic transmission of electoral results. 

Senators had on Thursday voted publicly along party lines over section 52(3) of the electoral act amendment bill, which deals with electronic transmission of poll results.

At the end of voting,  28 Senators mostly from the PDP voted for the original amendment in the report while 52 Senators mostly from the APC voted for the amendment as proposed by Senator Sabi Abdullahi.

This means the majority of Senators voted that INEC may consider electronic transmission provided the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by NCC and approved by the National Assembly.

A Rowdy House

Earlier, the Senate was plunged into a rowdy session as the lawmakers contested the amendment of section 52(3) of the electoral act amendment bill.

The new amendment, which was sought by Senator Sabi Abdullahi from Niger state and seconded by Senator Ali Ndume, provided that INEC may consider electronic transmission so far the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by Nigeria Communication Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

The controversial amendment sharply divided lawmakers, plunging the session into a rowdy one.

The Senate President was unable to bring the chamber back to order, forcing the Senate to go into a closed-door session.

After the senate ended its closed-door session, Senate minority leader Senator Enyinaya Abaribe called for a division challenging the Senate President’s ruling on clause 52(3) on electronic transmission.

He said he wants Nigerians to know who is voting for what.

Senators Vote Along Party Lines Over Electronic Transmission Of Electoral Results

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate.

 

Senators on Thursday voted publicly over section 52(3) of the electoral act amendment bill, which deals with electronic transmission of results.

The lawmakers voted along party lines, Channels Television observed.

The public voting was called for by Senate minority leader Enyinnanya Abaribe after the chambers was plunged into a rowdy session as lawmakers contested the amendment of the section.

According to Abaribe, the process would allow Nigerians know who is voting for what.

The new amendment, which was sought by Senator Sabi Abdullahi from Niger state and seconded by Senator Ali Ndume, suggested that INEC may consider electronic transmission so far the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the Nigerian Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

The controversial amendment sharply divided lawmakers, plunging the session into a rowdy one.

The Senate President Ahmed Lawan was unable to bring the chamber back to order, forcing the Senate to go into a closed-door session.

After the senate ended its closed-door session, Abaribe called for a division challenging the Senate President’s ruling on the session.

Senate In Rowdy Session Over Electronic Transmission Of Results

Lawmakers during plenary at the Senate chamber in Abuja.

 

The Senate was plunged into a rowdy session on Thursday as lawmakers contested the amendment of section 52(3) of the electoral act amendment bill, which deals with electronic transmission of results.

Section 52(3) was amended by removing the powers of INEC to determine the use of electronic transmission of results.

The new amendment, which was sought by Senator Sabi Abdullahi from Niger state and seconded by Senator Ali Ndume, provided that INEC may consider electronic transmission so far the national network coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by Nigeria Communication Commission and approved by the National Assembly.

The controversial amendment sharply divided lawmakers, plunging the session into a rowdy one.

The Senate President was unable to bring the chamber back to order, forcing the Senate to go into a closed-door session.

After the senate ended its closed-door session, Senate minority leader Senator Enyinaya Abaribe called for a division challenging the Senate President’s ruling on clause 52(3) on electronic transmission.

He said he wants Nigerians to know who is voting for what.

Senate Approves FG’s $8.4bn, €490m External Borrowing Plan

Lawmakers during plenary at the Senate chamber in Abuja February 12, 2020. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Senate on Thursday approved the Federal Government’s 2018-2020 external borrowing rolling plan of $8.3 billion and 490 million euros.

President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the National Assembly in May seeking the approval of the plan.

According to the President, the loan will be sourced from multilateral and bilateral institutions and the issuance of Eurobonds in the international capital market.

Donor funded projects under the plan, according to the President, will be financed through sovereign loans from the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB), Islamic Development Bank, French Development Agency, and the China EXIM Bank.

Others include, the China Development Bank, European Investment Bank, European ECA, KfW, IPEX, AFC, India EXIM Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

In his letter, President Buhari had also noted that the projects and programmes to be funded by the plan were based on technical and economic evaluation that will promote employment generation, social protection and poverty reduction.

 

Electoral Act Amendment: Senate Committee Presents Report On Bill

File Photo of the Senate

 

The Senate committee on INEC has laid the report of the highly anticipated Electoral Act Amendment bill before the Senate at Wednesday’s legislative proceedings.

The Senate is expected to debate the report on Thursday before it proceeds on its annual recess.

Ahead of the presentation and debate of the report, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, noted that there are various insinuations that the leadership of the Senate or leadership of the National Assembly has tampered with the report of the committee on INEC of both chambers.

However, he says some of those accusing the leadership of the National Assembly are misinformed and innocent while some others are simply mischievous and rabble-rousers.

Senator Lawan maintained that this is the first time the report on the Electoral Act Amendment bill would be laid before the senate and the recommendations in the report are the decisions of the committee on INEC.

He further noted that whatever will be discussed or considered concerning the bill, will be on the basis of what has been presented to the Senate.

The Senate leader advised anyone who feels very strongly about any aspect of the bill to lobby senators to canvass for their positions.

The bill has also been laid before the House of Representatives and is expected to be considered and passed on Thursday.

Senate Passes National Electoral Offences Commission Bill

A file photo of lawmakers in the Senate.

 

The Senate has passed the National Electoral Offences Commission Bill which if assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, will be charged with investigating electoral offences and prosecuting electoral offenders.

The bill which came up for the third reading during Tuesday’s plenary session will ensure that when established, the National Electoral Offences Commission, shall have the power to appoint and maintain investigators, prosecutors and experts to prosecute electoral offenders.

The Chairman of the Committee on INEC, Senator Kabiru Gaya said the creation of the commission is critical because the Independent National Electoral Commission clearly lacks the needed human capacity to prosecute electoral offences committed across Nigeria’s 119,973 polling units.

READ ALSO: Ekiti Govt Raises Alarm Over Rising Cases Of Sexual Offences

“No doubt, electoral offences remain a significant threat to credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria, where elections heighten political tension and trigger violence,” he said.

“It is also a decisive deterrence through efficient criminal prosecutions in the strategy for defecting electoral offenders.

“The above underscores the necessity of an active justice system for the prosecution of electoral offenders, which remains critical in ensuring a decrease in the level of electoral impunity and a reversal in the persistent trend of electoral offences.”

President Buhari To Meet With 109 Senators Tonight

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari greeting Senate President, Ahmed Lawan during a meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 22, 2021. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will meet with the 109 senators of the National Assembly.

The scheduled meeting between members of the upper chamber and President Buhari was conveyed in a letter received from the State House and read during plenary by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

“I write to inform the Distinguished President of the Senate, that President Muhammadu Buhari will host a dinner of Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Tuesday, 13th July 2021, at 8 pm 20:00 hrs,” the letter read, adding that “The venue is at the State House Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.”

READ ALSO: Security Operatives Rescue One Bethel Baptist School Student, Two Others

The Senate on April 27 reached a resolution for the leadership of the upper chamber to schedule a meeting with the President to enable all 109 Senators to meet with him to discuss the issue of insecurity in the country.

Although the details of the meeting is still sketchy, it is coming at a time when the lawmakers rejected the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner.

Onochie serves as a presidential aide on Social Media and was nominated by President Buhari in October 2020 to represent Delta State in the electoral umpire.

Her rejection on Tuesday followed the massive outcry that has trailed her nomination, especially from members of the opposition and civil society organisations who claim she is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Why We Rejected Lauretta Onochie As INEC Commissioner – Senators

A photo combination of Lauretta Onochie and a file image of Senators in the red chamber.
A photo combination of Lauretta Onochie and a file image of Senators in the red chamber.

 

The Senate on Tuesday explained why it rejected Lauretta Onochie as an INEC Commissioner for Delta State.

President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated Ms Onochie in October 2020 but many Nigerians criticised the move.

According to critics, Ms Onochie was a member of the All Progressives Congress and an aide to President Buhari.

In its decision to reject Onochie’s nomination, the Senators said it had received several petitions against Onochie.

Also, nominating her would contravene the Federal Character Principle, the Senators said, according to a statement signed by Ezrel Tabiowo, a spokesperson to the Senate President.

Meanwhile, the Senate confirmed five other nominees as INEC Commissioners.

Those confirmed include Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru (North-West), Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Dr. Baba Bila (North-East), and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa).