THE Senate has begun the screening and subsequent confirmation of the Special Assistant, Social Media to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday forwarded the name of Onochie and five others as Federal Commissioners to the Senator Kabiru Gaya, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kano South led Senate Committee on INEC.
Lawan gave the Committee two weeks to carry out legislative action on the list and report back at Plenary.
The action of the President of the Senate was sequel to the Executive Communication read by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, APC, Kebbi North that the Senate do consider the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the confirmation of the Nominations of the following persons for Appointment as Commissioners of INEC in accordance with Paragraph 14 Part 1(F) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as Amended.
Aside Onochie, other names that were referred to the Senate Committee are Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah from Katsina; Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi, Ekiti State; Saidu Babura Ahmad, Jigawa; Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam, North Central and Dr. Baba Bila, North East.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had in October , 2020, forwarded to the Senate for Screening and subsequent confirmation, his Special Assistant, Social Media, Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan read the letter from President Buhari forwarding the name of Onochie from Delta along side three other National Commissioners.
Others are Prof. Mohammed Sani from Katsina State; Prof. Kunle Ajayi from Ekiti State and Seidu Ahmed from Jigawa.
Buhari had said “Appointment for Commissioners for INEC. Pursuant to paragraph 14 of part 11 of the first schedule of the 1999 constitution.”
Also recall that same month last year, fourteen leading Civil Society Organisations, CSOs took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari following his nomination of his Special Assistant, Social Media, Lauretta Onochie as a National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for Screening and subsequent confirmation.
Also same day, Senator Dino Melaye who represented Kogi West in the Senate 8th Senate and early part of the present 9th Senate, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately rescind the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie, as a National Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Melaye described the nomination as unconstitutional, affront on the patience of Nigerians and an insult to the institution of INEC.
In a statement then, the 14 CSOs while reacting to the development, said that the nomination did not go well with the recent gains of the electoral system in the country.
The Leaders of the civil societies who signed the statement were the executive director of Peering Advocacy and Advancement Center, Convener of Say No Campaign, Comrade Ezenwa Nwagwu, executive director Center for Democracy, Idayat Hassan, executive director Center for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) Faith Nwadishi among others.
The statement titled, ” Nomination of Lauretta Onochie as National Commissioner INEC”, read “Whereas it has come to our notice the nomination of Lauretta Onochie by President Muhammadu Buhari as a National Commissioner of INEC, via a letter sent to the senate leadership for screening and confirmation on 13th October 2020, we completely reject this nomination, which does not sit well in the recent gains of the electoral system in the country.
“Whereas the 1999 Nigeria constitution (As amended) in the 3rd schedule, part 2f, paragraph 14(b) provides that National Electoral Commissioners of INEC, shall be non-partisan and persons of unquestionable integrity, who shall be nominated by the President.
“Whereas, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, is an independent body overseeing the electoral processes in the country without any affiliation to any of the political parties should not have any of its governing bodies member identified as a person sympathetic to any political party.
“We are therefore troubled that Lauretta Onochie, a serving aide of the President who openly supports the president and his political party, has been nominated to the position of National Commissioner, INEC. Any INEC National commissioner should enjoy the trust and confidence of all parties concerned (Ruling and Opposition), Ms. Onochie failed this critical test with her several open confrontations with opposition elements through the media.
Kaduna LG Polls: APC floors PDP, Secures 15 chairmanship seats
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the majority of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the local government council elections held in Kaduna State on Saturday.
The ruling party won 15 of the 17 chairmanship seats whose results have so far been declared, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two.
The polls were postponed in four of the state’s 23 local government areas to September 25 over security concerns.
An initial sensation was recorded when the PDP won in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Unguwan Sarki polling unit in Kaduna North LGA.
However, the APC rallied to win the chairmanship and most of the councillorship seats in the council.
The APC also won in the home councils of top PDP chieftains, including of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
The deputy governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe, also delivered Sanga Local Government in the PDP-leaning southern senatorial district to the APC.
The PDP picked its two chairmanship seats in Jana and Kaura local government areas.
The elections in Kachia Local government council was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Haruna Ahmadu.
The elections will hold in three weeks time in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf, and Kajuru LGAs following the postponement for security reasons.
See result as announced by returning officers for each local government council.
The returning officer, Katoh Ishaya, announced the PDP candidate, Matthias Siman, as winner of the chairmanship election having polled 19,511 to defeat Adamu Donatus of the APC who polled 10,941 votes.
PDP also won nine out of the 10 councillor seats while APC won one seat.
The returning office, Musa Makarfi, announced that the APC candidate, Nasara Rabo, polled 20,558 to defeat the PDP candidate, Caleb Pius, who polled 14,494 votes
Dayyabu Mohammed, the returning officer, declared Bashir Zuntu of the APC as winner of the election. He polled 23,973 votes to defeat Isah-Rabiu Imam of the PDP, who polled 9, 038 votes and Isah Yunusa of the SD who scored 530 votes.
Returning officer Haruna Abdu declared Shuaibu Jaja of the APC as winner of the chairmanship seat, having scored 18,129 votes.
Ibrahim-Shehu Doka of the PDP recorded 16,123 votes and Umar Taba of the Labour Party 1,844 votes.
Abubakar Buba of the APC was declared winner of the chairmanship seat with 36,389 votes, defeating Dalhat Abu-Dadda’i of the PDP who got 24,294 votes.
Idris Ibrahim of the APC was returned as the winner of the chairmanship seat with 34,006 votes. Yusuf Sambo of the PDP polled 14,019 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner after scoring 32,405 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abdu Bello of PDP, who scored 13,777 votes.
Bisallah Malam of the APC was returned as winner of the chairmanship election with 21,854 votes. The PDP candidate scored 12,832 votes.
Yunana Barde of APC took the chairmanship seat with 24,251 votes, narrowly defeating the incumbent chairman and PDP candidate, Peter Averik, who polled 23,215 votes.
The returning officer, Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, announced the results.
The ÀPC candidate, Abubakar Lawal, won the chairmanship seat with 22,896 votes His PDP rival, Awwal Kaya, scored 3,534 votes. Returning officer Godwin Ayuba also said the APC won all the 11 councillorship seats.
Mukhtar Baloni of the APC emerged winner with 16,545 votes. Adamu Dattijo of the PDP scored 15,472 votes. But PDP won 6 out of the 11 councilor seats to APC’s 5 seats.
The returning officer, Garba Salisu declared the incumbent chairman, Kabir Mayare of APC, winner with16, 328 votes. Abubakar Makarfi of PDP scored 14,739 votes.
Jabir Khamis of the APC is the winner of the chairmanship seat. He scored 29,804 votes to defeat PDP’s Ibrahim Yusha’u who scored 10,865 votes.
But the PDP chairmanin the area, Dan Azumi Maganda, said the PDP will challenge the result in court.
Peter Omale, the Returning Officer, declared Philip Gwada of the PDP winner having recorded 9,012 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Benjamin Jock, who polled 5,640 votes.
PDP also won 8 of the 10 councillorship seats.
The incumbent chairman, Abubakar Jarimi of the APC polled 7, 879to votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 4,765 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner by the returning officer, Abubakar-Mohammed Sadiq. Mr Usman scored 32,405 votes to defeat Abdu Bello of the PDP who had 13,777 votes.
The APC candidate, Ibrahim Sadiq, scored 18, 974 votes to beat his PDP opponent who scored 13,416 votes.
The chairmanship election in Kachia local government area was declared inconclusive. The returning officer said cancelled and uncast votes were over 13,000, more than the recorded votes.
According to the result announced, Allison Chitta of the PDP scored 24,482 votes to Aaron Bako of the APC’s 23,270 votes.
2023: Only the best, popular candidate will emerge in Akwa Ibom – Iniama
A stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom State politics, Mr James Iniama, has stated that the state would expect nothing but only the best and popular governorship candidate in 2023.
Iniama, in an interview with Journalists in Uyo over the weekend, noted the clamour by different groups for the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor and said that the delay by the governor in announcing his prefered candidate could result in the imposition of unpopular candidate on the state.
He warned that the state would not tolerate any imposition without a level playing ground for aspirants to test popularity.
“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed,” he said.
Iniama recalled that the political build-up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.
“I support this movement, in fact, I am an apostle of peace. Whatever you are doing in life, you have to cohabit peacefully.
“I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate. You were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.
“In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the United States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a necessity.
Secondus denies working against Southern Nigeria
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied the allegation that he is working against the interest Southern Nigeria.
Secondus stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Friday.
It noted “the Media Office of Secondus will continue to respond to even laughable talks because of the danger of allowing disinformation to enter public space unchallenged.”
It stated that one of such piece of false information being dished out was the allegation from the Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Desmond Akawor, that Secondus was working against Southern interest and that he had not paid his dues to the party.
“We understand the frustration of the anti-Secondus crusaders who have become evidence shopaholics in their desperation to find points with which to achieve their ignoble goals.
“The Media Office sees their effort as a case of bad marketer selling a product, who puts in several efforts to convince buyers to no avail.
“Our response is that there is no truth in all the allegations and Southern interest will be grossly endangered if it is the likes of Akawor and his clique that are pushing it,” the statement said.
The office said that critical members of PDP, including discerning members of the public knew as a fact that “no one person, no matter his position, could determine singularly the position of offices in the party”.
“The Media Office will, however, continue to urge members of the public and the media to be wary of compulsive shoppers whose agenda is mainly to distract and destroy this party and remove its focus from retuning to power in 2023 as being yearned by Nigerians,” the statement said.
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