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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Senate screens Buhari’s aide, others as INEC Commissioners

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has on Wednesday, asked the Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission to screen for confirmation, the appointments of the Special Adviser on Social Media to the President, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, and five others as INEC commissioners.

The is coming eight months after President Muhammadu Buhari sent the list of the nominees to the Senate for screening.

Other names on the list are Prof. Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Ahmad (Jigawa), Prof. Muhammad Kallah (Katsina), Dr Baba Bila (North-East) and Prof Sani Adam (North- Central).

According to reports, Senators from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) halted the process of the screening as the opposition federal lawmakers were said to have accused Onochie, who is presently a presidential spokesperson, of unnecessarily casting aspersions on their party.

Presenting an executive communication from Buhari, seeking the confirmation of the nominees at plenary on Wednesday, leader of the Senate, Sen.Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi -North) said: “That the Senate do consider the request of Mr President on the confirmation of the nomination of the following persons for appointment as commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in accordance with paragraph 14 part I(F) of the third schedule to the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

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“The nominees are: Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Commissioner Katsina); Lauretta Onochie (Commissioner Delta), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Commissioner Ekiti); Saidu Babura Ahmad (Commissioner Jigawa); Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (Commissioner North- Central) and Dr Baba Bila (Commissioner North- East).

However, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia) and minority leader, when asked to second the motion by the Senate leader, said Lauretta Onochie as a nominee had been rejected by the Senate earlier.

Senate president, Ahmad Lawan in his remark, however, referred the nominations to the Committee on INEC for further legislative inputs and to report back in two weeks.

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