INEC: Rowdy session in Senate over Onochie’s appointment as National Commissioner

 Mild drama ensued on the floor of the Senate Wednesday over consideration of appointment of the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media , Lauretta Onochie,  as one of the newly appointed  six  National Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
President Muhammadu Buhari had in October last year forwarded the name of Onochie along that of Professors  Muhammad Sani Kallah ( Katsina ), Kunle Cornelius Ajayi ( ( Ekiti ), Sani Muhammad Adam ( North – Central ),  Dr Baba Bila ( North East ) and Saidu Babura Ahmad ( Jigawa ) to the Senate for confirmation as INEC National Commissioners.

Onochie ‘ s inclusion  in the list , sparked  public outcry for allegedly being a member of the ruling All Progressives Party ( APC) , which forced the Senate to suspend action on it.
But the presidential request resurfaced on the  floor of the Senate Wednesday Lauretta Onochie as number two on the list .
In line with parliamentary procedures as listed on the Order Paper ,  the Leader of the Senate , Senator Yahaya Abdullahi ( APC Kebbi North ) moved motion for the  request to be forwarded to the Senate Committee on INEC for required screening.

But when asked to second the motion , the Minority Leader of the Senate , Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe ( PDP Abia South), kicked against the inclusion of Onochie in the list .
He said: “In seconding this motion, we have dealt with the matter of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie. So we feel surprised the same name has resurfaced no longer as a national commissioner but as Delta state commissioner.

“Reluctantly, I second the motion that these nominations be referred to the appropriate committee for action. We shall meet in Philippi.”
The President of the Senate , Ahmad Lawan , however corrected Abaribe by saying that Onochie is not nominated as Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC),but National Electoral Commissioner .

” Anybody who has any petition against any of the nominees ,can forward such to the Senate Committee on INEC within the two  weeks time frame given for the screening”, he said.