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I’m A Private Person, I Rarely Talk, I Quit Politics In 2019 —- What Lauretta Onochie Told Senate Panel During Screening



Before she was rejected by the Senate on Wednesday, Lauretta Onochie told its committee on INEC that she was a private person and rarely talked.

This is besides her earlier statement where she said she quit politics in 2019 and that she is no longer partisan, a claim which turned out to be false.

All of these ‘declarations’ that Ms Onochie made were in response to petitions written against her. The Senate panel had presented the petitions and asked her to respond to them during the screening exercise.

Ms Onochie, the personal assistant to the president on New Media, was being screened for her appointment as a national commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission – having been appointed over eight months ago by President Muhammadu Buhari to represent Delta State, where she hails from.

Nigerians had asked the president to withdraw her nomination on grounds that she is partisan and it would be unconstitutional for her to be appointed into such an office.

Although her nomination was rejected by the Senate, Ms Onochie made some brow-raising comments during her screening exercise

The report
The committee, in its report, said several petitions against Ms Onochie were submitted on grounds of violation of federal character principle, partisanship, being a card-carrying member of the APC, and using her social media accounts fake news campaign strategies – all of which she was asked to respond to.

In her defense, Ms Onochie debunked the claims against her.

According to the report, while she admitted to being a one-time registered and card-carrying member of the APC and member of the “Buhari Support Organisation”, she said she is presently neither a registered nor card-carrying member of the party since she did not register as an APC Member during the last APC re-validation exercise.

In response to her social media activities, “she stated that she is a private individual who rarely talks about herself and ceased all Television and Radio appearances since President Buhari’s second term election.”

On her partisanship, “she categorically denied being sympathetic to any political party and stopped all activities since the year 2019.”

She also gave the assurance that “if confirmed, there will be no biased bone in her body’ and acclaimed herself as ‘Madam Due Process.”

Despite the numerous petitions, however, the Senate panel only deemed it necessary to reject Ms Onochie on grounds of breach of federal character principle.

“In the case of Ms Onochie’s…the Committee, bound by the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution on Federal Character Principle… the Senate may wish to recall that in 2016, the Senate based on the recommendation of its INEC Committee confirmed Barr. May Agbamuche-Mbu from Delta State as a National Commissioner in INEC, who is still serving.

“…Confirming the nomination of Ms. Lauretta Onochie from the same Delta State will be a violation of the Federal Character Principle. Therefore, based on the provisions of Section 14(3) of the Constitution…and in order for the Committee and the Senate to achieve fairness to other states and political zones in the county, the Committee is unable to recommend Ms. Lauretta Onochie for confirmation as a National Electoral Commissioner for INEC but would rather recommend to the Senate to request that the President makes another nomination,” the report read.

Many have hailed the Senate for rejecting her nomination, describing it as a win for democracy.


Senate Screens Acting CBN Governor Dr. Cardoso, 4 Deputies Today



The  Senate will today (Tuesday) screen the acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr Olayemi Cardoso, for confirmation into a substantive capacity alongside four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.

The Red Chamber, which is returning from its two-month annual vacation, has also scheduled the screening of two additional ministerial nominees by  President Bola Tinubu for Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The Media Office of the Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, disclosed this in a statement on Monday evening.

While the National Assembly was on break, the President appointed the duo of Dr. Jamila Ibrahim and Ayodele Olawande as Minister of Youths and Minister of State for Youths respectively.

Tinubu also approved the nomination of  Cardoso as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria pending his confirmation by the Senate.

Last week, Cardoso resumed as the CBN governor in an acting capacity pending his screening and expected confirmation by the Senate.

The statement by the Senate Leader office said, “Dr. Cardoso will be screened alongside four deputy governors: namely Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.

“Besides, the Senate has scheduled to screen the ministerial nominees – Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim and Mr. Ayodele Olawande, respectively designated as Minister of Youth and Minister of State for Youth on October 3.”

Meanwhile, the Senate also pledged not to disappoint Nigerians as regards the appropriation of the 2024 budget.

Speaking on the agenda of the Red Chamber ahead of its resumption, the Senate spokesperson, Yemi Adaramodu,  emphasised that the revitalisation of the economy was top of its priorities.

Adaramodu said, “Soon after the resumption, the appropriation process will commence.

“The 10th Senate will not disappoint Nigerians; we’d ensure that we do what is expected of us because we are in a peculiar time when all hands must be on deck and Nigerians are eagerly waiting to see us do the needful to save Nigeria from the economic troubles we are currently experiencing and that permanent solutions are proffered.

“We’d ensure that appropriations are targeted at deliverables that can enhance a good life and good living of Nigerians and we are going to ensure that those that are approved are delivered to the latter and that quality services are given to Nigerians so that we can realise the goals of the Nigerian project so that we can ensure that life is more abundant to everyone to Nigerians.”

Adaramodu said the Senate expected the President to send the budget soon.


Credit: The Punch

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Tribunal: Sanwo-Olu Hails Verdict, Reaffirms Commitment To Delivery Of Campaign Promises



The executive Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has hailed the judgement of the Lagos Election Petition Tribunal, which came in favour of the All Progressives Congress.

This was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, On Monday.

The tribunal, which sat for about 10 hours, and led by lead Judge, Justice Arum Ashom, dismissed two petitions filed against Sanwo-Olu’s victory in the March 18, 2023 election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The petitions were filed by the Sanwo-Olu’s main challengers – Dr. Olajide Adediran of the People’s Democratic Party and Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party.

In his reaction, Sanwo-Olu described the tribunal’s verdict as “Well thought-out and detailed.”

According to him, the judgement further affirms that his election was the people’s choice.

He further stated that the court’s decision further affirmed the judiciary’s commitment to principles of fairness and justice.

He said: “I am glad to announce the information I have just received that Lagos Election Petition Tribunal judgements have been given in our favour. I commend the judiciary and the judges that delivered the well-thought-out and detailed judgments. They took their time to explain to everyone the reasons that led them to the views and conclusions they gave today. We thank the judges for their firm commitment to the principle of fairness and justice.

“As it is, Mr. Deputy and I feel very privileged to have been elected to serve at this important moment in the history of our State. We thank all Lagosians for standing by us all through this journey. For us, this judgement is a victory for all. We are not coming out here to say somebody won or lost. For all of us on this political trajectory, there are no winners or losers.

He added that the judgement has re-energised his administration to ensure the fulfilment of all his campaign promises to the people of Lagos State.

“For us, our aim in governance is about service and ensuring that we are not distracted from all the promises we made to Lagosians. This judgement has allowed us to double up our interventions to ensure that we continue to deliver quality dividends of democracy to our citizens.”

Speaking further, Sanwo-Olu pleaded with Olajide Adediran of the People’s Democratic Party and Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, to accept the verdict of the tribunal in good faith, urging them to display the spirit of sportsmanship.

“I still want to allow opposition parties’ candidates that contested against us to join hands with us if they share the same passion and commitment that we have to serve. We are ready to sit with them and have a conversation about what ways they can channel their ideas in the development of the State. Lagos is big and its challenges are real, while its opportunities are boundless. There is always room for everybody to contribute,” Sanwo-Olu said.

However, the Governor noted the State Government would not be marking the tribunal judgement with any form of celebration. Instead, he stressed that he would rather divert his energy towards the responsibility of governance.

The party, Sanwo-Olu said, is free to organise events for Lagosians in marking the victory at the court.

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Jandor Rejects Tribunal Judgement Affirming Sanwo-Olu’s Victory, Says “They Ignored Credible Evidence”



Abdul-azeez Adediran, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, has rejected the ruling of the election petition tribunal affirming Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the governor of the state.

On Monday, the tribunal dismissed the case filed by Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, as lacking in merit.

Reacting to the ruling, Adediran said the tribunal refused to accept the credible and convincing evidence presented by his legal team on the non-qualifications of candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) in the election.

He said that the decision of the tribunal did not reflect the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, assuring that “Lagos PDP will study the judgement and decide on the next step to be taken”.

“This is not the end of the electoral process, it is just another stage. We will study the judgement and take decisions in the best interest of Lagosians,” he said.

In the unanimous ruling, Abdullahi said the petitioner failed to convince the court that Sanwo-Olu did not attend Community Grammar School, Ijebu-Ife, the institution, where the certificate came from.

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