Senior special assistant on new media to the president, Mrs Lauretta Onochie, has said she is she is no longer a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Onochie stated this yesterday when she and five other nominees for appointment as national commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were screened by the Senate Committee on INEC.
The other nominees, who were screened are: Prof Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina); Prof Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa), Prof Sani Muhammad Adam (North-Central) and Dr. Baba Bila (Northeast).
During the screening of Onochie, headed by Senator Kabiru Gaya, the senators were divided over calls for the nominee to take an oath on her claims that she had since 2019 ceased to be a member of any political party.
Onochie, who arrived at the already tensed screening room, while fielding questions on her political affiliation, told the lawmakers that, “I ceased been a member of any political party since 2019. That is why even in the last APC revalidation exercise, I didn’t participate in it.”
Senator Bamidele Opeyemi (Ekiti) had told the nominee to take an oath on whether she was a card-carrying member of the APC. However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers, who were at the screening opposed it, on the ground that such was not part of the Senate rule.
But a quick check by our correspondent revealed that Onochie’s affidavit at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on June 3, 2021 stated otherwise.
In her affidavit, Onochie said: “That I am also engaged in active politics and a member of the Neighborhood Watch and have also contested the local government election under the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. I am also a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a volunteer at the Buhari Support Organisation (BSO).”
Onochie had arrived the Senate wing of the National Assembly at about 11am; accompanied by the special adviser to the president on National Assembly Matters, Babajide Omoworare.
She was ushered into the office of the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Kabir Gaya.
Moments after, Onochie re-emerged from behind closed doors and headed to “Hearing Room 211” new venue for the screening exercise after the initial venue was changed.
In a swift reaction, the PDP carpeted her for denying that she is a member of the APC.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said “Nigerians were amused to watch Lauretta Onochie, a nationally known APC front runner, as she spewed falsehood before the Senator Kabiru Gaya-led Senate Committee on INEC in denial of her membership of the APC.”
INEC: Despite Protests, Onochie Appears In Senate For Screening(Opens in a new browser tab)