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I’m not a member of APC — Lauretta Onochie



Lauretta Onochie

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Lauretta Onochie, on Thursday renounced her membership of the All Progressives Congress during her screening by the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Lauretta Onochie who was among those being screened for confirmation as National Commissioners for INEC. Other nominees who appeared for the screening include: Kunle Ajayi (Ekiti), Sani Adam (North Central), Saidu Ahmad (Jigawa), Professors Muhammad Kallah (Katsina), and Baba Bila (North East).

Onochie, in her remarks, noted the series of petitions against her, which bordered  the fact that someone from her state was already on the board of the INEC and on her membership of the APC.

She, however, renounced the party three times before the Senate committee. She admitted being part of Buhari’s campaign organization in 2015 before her appointment as the Special Assistant on social media.  Onochie said, “I have learned, over the years, to stand with the constitution and due process but not on partisanship or sentiments.

“Since 2019, I have not had anything to do with any political organization, including Buhari support groups. When APC was doing re-validation of party members, I did not take part in that exercise. As I’m sitting down here, I’m not a member of any political party in this country. I have no partisanship in my blood. I have seen many petitions against my nomination not only from the PDP, but also from some APC members. I’m not partisan; they know. It is about the law. No one has any reason to fear for my nomination as INEC commissioner representing Delta.As far as I’m concerned, I’m Madam Due Process. That’s why all the attacks. I follow due process; I follow the law.”

In response, Senators Ifeanyi Ubah, Seriake Dickson, Istifanus Gyang and Ike Ekweremadu, in different times, asked Onochie again to confirm her membership of the APC.

Onochie renounce her membership of the APC each time.

Ergo, a suggestion by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (Ekiti Central) that Onochie be placed on oath after she had denied her APC membership, was supported by Senator Lawal Gumau (Bauchi South).

The suggestion was objected by two PDP senators, Ike Ekweremadu and Seriake Dickson, who each argued that the Senate rules did not allow them to put any nominee on oath during screening.

Chairman of the panel, Kabiru Gaya, agreed with the PDP senators , Seriake Dickson and Ike Ekweremadu, saying that Onochie would not be placed on oath as it is against the Senate rules. Gaya subsequently adjourned the proceedings and said that the report of his panel would be submitted to the Senate at plenary next week for consideration. The committee is expected to present their report to the Senate on another legislative day.The report is expected to contain recommendations on either confirming or rejecting the appointments of Ms Onochie and the other nominees.

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