The Senate has received a formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm the appointment of six nominees as National Commissioners, and one other as Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).The request was contained in a letter of December 10, and read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. Buhari explained that the request was made pursuant to paragraph 14 of Part (1) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The letter reads: “Pursuant to paragraph 14 of Part (1) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby forward for the confirmation, by the Senate, the appointment of the underlisted nominees as National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
The nominees include Mallam Mohammed Haruna, National Commissioner (Niger – north-central), Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu (Delta – south-south), Ukeagu Kenneth Nnamdi (Abia – southeast), and Major General A. B. Alkali (rtd) – Adamawa, (northeast). Others are Professor Rhoda H. Gumus (Bayelsa – south-south), Mr. Sam Olumekan (Ondo – southwest), and Resident Electoral Commissioner, Olaniyi Olaleye Ijalaye (Ondo – southwest).
Checks revealed that the president withdrew the earlier nomination of one of his media aides, Lauretta Onochie. It had previously been reported that the Senate rejected Onochie’s nomination as a national commissioner of INEC. Onochie was rejected following the consideration of the report of the Committee on INEC, chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano). The Senate at the committee of the whole, thereafter, voted against Onochie’s nomination as the INEC commissioner.