President Muhammadu Buhari had on 23 November forwarded the names of Lauretta Onochie and 14 others for affirmation as chairman and participants of the NDDC Board.

The Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs screened Lauretta Onochie and 14 different nominees for their appointments as chair and participants of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Ms Onochie, lately a unique assistant to the president on new media, gave the impression ahead of the panel on Thursday for the screening procedure. She and the opposite nominees had been appointed through President Muhammadu Buhari on 23 November.

She was once enmeshed in a arguable appointment into the electoral umpire, INEC, in 2020 when she was once named a countrywide commissioner to constitute Delta State.

The appointment generated public outcry from people, civic teams and opposition events who wrote petitions, staged protests and referred to as at the Senate to reject Ms Onochie’s appointment. Many additionally described the appointment as unconstitutional – majorly as a result of she is partisan and has overtly campaigned for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

She was once, then again, rejected through the Senate in July. And the root for her rejection was once no longer her partisanship. The Senate stated her appointment was once rejected as a result of “it breaches the federal character principle.”

Lawmakers grill nominees

At Thursday’s screening chaired through Gombe senator Bulus Amos, some senators questioned if Ms Onochie’s native executive was once an oil-producing group.

Seriake Dickson (PDP, Bayelsa West) stated her nomination breached the provisions of Section 12(1) of NDDC (Establishment and many others.) Act.

He requested Ms Onochie about her native executive and if it is an oil-producing group.

But he was once reminded through the Senate leader whip, Orji Kalu (APC, Abia North) {that a} former NDDC chairman, Onyema Ugochukwu, was once appointed from a group that doesn’t produce oil in Abia State.

“We need to be more guided. We have appointed a chairman from our state that is not from the local government where they produce oil, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu, and nobody can tell us to reject this one,” he stated.

While Ekiti senator Opeyemi Bamidele, who supported Ms Onochie’s appointment, stated she is certified for the location, Delta senator James Manager stated a petition was once written towards her nomination.