By Joy Odor
The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has referred President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to confirm six nominees as National Commissioners of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to its Committee on INEC.
The confirmation request was made by the President in accordance with paragraph 14 Part I(F) of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
The names of the nominees for screening include: Professor Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Lauretta Onochie (Delta); Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti); Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa); Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam (North-Central); and Dr. Baba Bila (North-East).
Moments after an Executive Communication in the name of the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North) was read at the commencement of plenary, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe rose to challenge the nomination of Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner to represent Delta State.
He said in seconding the motion, the lawnmowers have dealt with the matter of the nomination of Lauretta Onochie, saying he is surprised that the same name has resurfaced no longer as a National Commissioner, but as a Delta State Commissioner and reluctantly seconded the motion that nominations be referred to the relevant committee for action.
Responding to Senator Abaribe’s observation, the Senate President however, made clarifications on Onochie’s nomination, saying the nominees are not state resident electoral commissioners but National Commissioners.
“And there was no change of request, so they are not resident electoral commissioners”, Lawan explained.
The President’s confirmation request was, thereafter, referred by the Senate President to the Committee on INEC.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South) is expected to screen the nominees and report back to the upper chamber in two weeks.