The Senate panel that screened the Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie and five others nominated for appointment as national commissioners of Independent National Electoral Commission will submit its report to the plenary on Tuesday, Daily Trust can report.
Onochie, Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah, Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, Saidu Babura Ahmad, Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam and Dr. Baba Bila were screened last Thursday by the Senate Committee on INEC nine months after President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded a request to the Red Chamber to confirm them.
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Onochie’s nomination had sparked outrage from the opposition lawmakers and some from the All Progressives Congress and civil society groups, who argued that she was “too partisan” to be a commissioner in an important institution like INEC.
Others accused her of being a card-carrying member of ruling APC.
But the presidential aide said she had stopped being a member of any political party since 2019.
The screening session became rowdy when a member of the panel, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti) suggested that Onochie be placed on oath to swear that she did not belong to any political party.
But the suggestion was opposed by other committee members, who noted that putting Onochie on oath was against the Senate rule.
In the end, the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano), said his committee would look at all the documents before the panel, sieve them, take a decision on the nominees and forward its recommendations to the Senate.
“The report on the screening last Thursday will be submitted to the Senate when it resumes plenary on Tuesday,” a senior official close to the Senate panel told Daily Trust, preferring not to be named, because he was not authorised to speak on the matter.