The Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the screening of the Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, says she is not a member of any political party.

Buhari nominated her for the role in October 2020 but the senate only began working on his request for her confirmation in June. Many Nigerians had condemned the nomination on the grounds that Onochie is partisan.

While appearing before the committee, she said the petitions against her nomination emerged because she follows “due process”.

In her words: “I have seen the petitions against me but I stand for justice and fairness. Thus nobody has anything to fear.

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“I am madam due process and this is the reason behind my attacks, because I follow the law and due process.

“I had no partisanship bone in my body until I was invited to come and work with President Muhammadu Buhari.”

Dissatisfied, Ike Ekweremadu, senator representing Enugu west, asked Onochie to reject the nomination and “protect the integrity of the president”.

On his part, Istifanus Gyang, senator representing Plateau north, presented an affidavit in which Onochie said she is an APC member.

In response, Onochie said since Buhari was reelected in 2019, she has not engaged in politics.

“Since Buhari was elected as president for the second term, I have removed myself from everything about politics,” she said.

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“Since 2019, I don’t have anything to do with politics. As I am sitting down here, I am not a member of any political party in this country.”

Yahaya Gumau, senator representing Bauchi south, and Opeyemi Bamidele, senator representing Ekiti north, spoke in Onochie’s defence.

Opeyemi argued that Mahmoud Yakubu, INEC chairman, worked with Buhari in different capacities but that did not affect him when he was nominated as chairman of the electoral commission.

Onochie’s eventual confirmation will be dependent on the recommendations of the committee.

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