Abaribe kicks over Buhari’s insistence on aide as INEC commissioner

By Peter Usman://

Again, the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe yesterday kicked against the inclusion of the Special Assistant on Social Media to the President, Lauretta Onochie among the six nominees to be screened by the upper legislative chamber for the position of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC commissioners.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, on October 12, 2020 nominated Onochie from Delta State, Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa), Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North Central) and Dr. Baba Bila representing North East, respectively.

The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan had asked Abaribe to second a motion for the screening of the nominees, which the Minority Leader did reluctantly, having expressed his opposition to the resurfacing of the president’s aide.

Abaribe said he was surprised that Onochie’s name was still included among the nominees to be screened by the Senate and might be subsequently been confirmed for appointment by the upper legislative chamber.

“I am surprised that the name of Lauretta Onochie was still included on the list despite the fact that we have resolved her issue a long time ago.

”I am seconding the motion for the screening of the nominees, reluctantly and we shall meet in Philippines,” the Minority Leader said.

The Senate President, later referred the executive communication to the  Committee on INEC, chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) with a view to screening the appointees for confirmation or otherwise by the Senate.

Lawan gave the committee four weeks to conclude the screening and report back to the Senate at plenary.

It would be recalled that the minority Leader, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and many other groups as well as individuals, had eight months ago when the announcement was made, particularly opposed the nomination of Onochie, saying it was morally wrong for the President to nominate his aide, who is also a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC as a commissioner in the nation’s electoral umpire.

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