Senate confirms seven nominees as INEC commissioners


By Ismail Auwal

The Senate confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for National Electoral Commissioners of Nigeria’s electoral umpire, INEC, on Wednesday.

May Agbamuche-Mbu (Delta – South-South), Mohammed Haruna (Niger – North-central, National Commissioner), Ukeagu Nnamdi (Abia – South-east, National Commissioner), and A. B. Alkali (Adamawa – North-east, National Commissioner) have all been confirmed.

Rhoda Gumus (Bayelsa – South-south, National Commissioner), Sam Olumekun (Ondo – South-west, National Commissioner), and Olaniyi Ijalaye (Ondo – South-west, Resident Commissioner) are among the others.

Mrs. Abgamuche-Mbu was in acting capacity when the president appointed Lauretta Onochie to take her place in October 2020 – an appointment that sparked outrage from individuals, civic groups, and opposition parties who wrote petitions, staged protests, and called on the Senate to reject it.

Delta State was represented by Ms. Onochie, a presidential aide. Many deemed her appointment unconstitutional, owing primarily to her partisanship and open campaigning for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Despite telling the Senate INEC committee in July 2021 that she had left politics in 2019 and was no longer partisan – a claim that turned out to be false – she was rejected by the Senate. Last December, Buhari reappointed Agbamuche-Mbu along with the six other nominees.

They were confirmed on Wednesday after the Senate Committee on INEC considered and adopted a report.

The report was presented by Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano), Chairman of the Committee.

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