According to a document, Lauretta Onochie, President Muhammadu Buhari’s social media adviser, is still a card-carrying member of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and is equally involved in party affairs.
On Thursday, the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), chaired by Senator Kabir Gaya, screened Onochie in preparation for her appointment as INEC Commissioner.
The screening, however, took a dramatic turn when it became contentious, dividing the panel over her membership in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which was concerned that she may become partisan in a position where she was supposed to be independent and unbiased.
The 62-year-old female politician claimed to have attended the University of Calabar and the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, having migrated there at one point.
Onochie, who was the last of the six contenders to be examined, acknowledged that she had received numerous petitions, but claimed she had learned to be liberal and non-partisan at her previous job in the United Kingdom.
However, the panel expressed concern about the numerous petitions filed against her by political parties, civil society organizations, and individuals, and wondered how she would clear herself of being partisan, considering her active participation in partisan politics.
Onochie stated in her statement that she was called to join the APC and work for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2014 after being invited from the United Kingdom.
She further stated that she resigned as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress and stopped active politics after President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in the second election in 2019.
She said: “Distinguished members of the Committee, I am aware of the numerous petitions against me particularly on the current INEC Commissioner. The woman is from Delta State where I also come from, but she is married to a Cross River man and she is representing Cross River and not Delta.
“Since 2019 elections, I have removed myself from active politics and even in the ongoing APC membership drive, I didn’t register and currently, I am not a member of any political party,” she maintained.
However, according to NewsDirect’s examination of the affidavit she swore on June 30, 2021, at the FCT High Court in Abuja, she remains a member of the APC and was an active participant in a United Kingdom election in which she also ran. She also revealed that she is a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s support group.
“That I am an educationist having served as Headmistress of Auntie Margaret International School, Calabar,” the affidavit stated. In addition, I worked as a lecturer at Epping Forest College in Essex, England.
“That I am also active in politics and a member of the Neighborhood Watch, as well as having run for Local Government in the United Kingdom under the Conservative Party.
“I am also a volunteer at the Buhari Support Organization and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress.”
She had previously denied being a member of any political party in response to Senator Instifanus Gyang’s request that she speak to the affidavit she submitted to the panel while preparing to attend the screening.
Senator Lawal Gumau, who sat next to the Committee Chairman and was whispered to by the Chairman, interjected after the Committee became uncomfortable as a result of her explanation.
Senators from the PDP and the APC have been at odds for some time.
Senator Seriake Dickson, a former governor of Bayelsa State, expressed concern, saying that while he would have supported Onochie’s nomination because she is from the Niger Delta, her membership in the APC goes against the constitution, which is a major issue.
You may be interested
Illegal national chairman Buni exposed, about to ruin APC, congressWebby - July 29, 2021
Spread the love Somehow, President Muhammdu Buhari and his men in the ruling APC have been carrying on as though…
Bribery scandal: Abba Kyari replies HushpuppiWebby - July 29, 2021
Spread the loveDeputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, has denied collecting money from Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi, to arrest and…