The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, rejected the nomination of a special assistant to the Nigerian president on Social Media, Mrs Lauretta Onochie as an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner.
The Tuesday rejection by the Nigerian Senate followed the massive outcry that has trailed her nomination, mostly from members of the main opposition party in the country and civil society organisations who claim Mrs Onochie is a card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Prof Attahiru Jega a former INEC Chairman is also among those who have kicked against the appointment.
“This kind of controversy is avoidable. Any person who generated such a controversy, the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body,” the former INEC chairman said on Monday on Channels Television’s programme.
President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the Senate in October 2020, to confirm the appointment of Onochie who is currently his media aide on Social Media, and three others as Commissioners of INEC.
During her screening by the Senate on Thursday, July 8, Mrs Onochie insisted she is not partisan.
While noting that she had seen the petitions against her which were not only from the opposition but also from people in the APC, she said it was because she is known to be non-partisan and someone who insists on due process.
Onochie, however, insisted that since President Buhari won his second term, she has removed herself from all things political.
According to Onochie, from 2019 till date she has not had anything to do with any political organisation and did not take part in the All Progressives Congress (APC) recent membership validation exercise.