Her political enemies were as long as the thread in the three-piece gown of a regular Senator from northern Nigeria, with the embittered People Democrat Party (PDP) as first on the line.
She also had Civil Society Organisations on her list of foes; they would not want her as a national commissioner at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Opposition governors detested her guts and spoke up.
Even religious leaders could not stand her, and they made that known in the past.
Though he appeared not to have any grouse against her as a person, the former Chairman of INEC, Professor Atahiru Jega, opposed her nomination. He told a television station in an interview:
“This kind of controversy is really avoidable. Any person who generated such a controversy, the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body,” he said on Monday on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Lauretta Onochie was desperate for the office, and even lied about her membership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
But on this Tuesday of confirmation, the Senate, often seen, rightly or wrongly, as a parastatal of the Presidency, took a detour as a face-saver citing the federal character principle as reason for rejecting her.
The Senate declined her nomination as a National Commissioner of the INEC.
Chairman of the Committee, Kabiru Gaya, in his report also rejected North Central nominee, Prof. Sani Muhammad Adam for further legislative action by the committee. due to a litany of petitions against him.
He disclosed that the petitions against Lauretta Onochie were against the backdrop that her involvement in politics and alleged membership of a political party.
Gaya said there is already a serving National Electoral Commissioner from Delta State, Barr. May Agbamuche-Mbu.
Said he, “In the case of Ms. Lauretta Onochie’s, having studied her curriculum vitae and other relevant documents, followed by exhaustive interaction around the petitions against her nomination which she responded to accordingly, including attesting that she is not a registered member of any political party”,.
Gaya added that the Committee was bound by the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amendment) on Federal Character Principle, refused to recommend Onochie for confirmation.
He dropped the bombshell: “Therefore, based on the provisions of Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) on Federal Character Principle as earlier stated, and in order for the Committee and the Senate to achieve fairness to other states and political zones in the country, the committee is unable to recommend Ms. Lauretta Onochie for confirmation as a National Electoral Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission”.
Among those confirmed are: Professor Abdullahi Abdu Zuru (North-West), Prof. Muhammad Sani Kallah (Katsina), Prof. Kunle Cornelius Ajayi (Ekiti), Dr. Baba Bila (North-East), and Saidu Babura Ahmad (Jigawa).
The Senate at the committee of the whole subsequently voted against her nomination.
Onochie was not evidently liked by many. As soon as the Breaking News was sent out by Everyday.ng, there was a staccato of responses, some unprintable. Below are four samples:
[13/07, 12:17 pm] En..: Better
[13/07, 12:18 pm] Reporter: Kai, this woman offend plenty pipu o.
[13/07, 12:48 pm]En..: Even party people like me don’t like her.
[13/07, 12:13 pm] Mu…: But why ? After all her work… God dey ooo.
[13/07, 12:16 pm] Reporter: Whish work I ask I beg?
[13/07, 12:24 pm]Mu…: GREAT PMB APOSTLE NA…. Which work pass that one….
[13/07, 1:28 pm]Uc..: Because the chairman spoke
[13/07, 1:28 pm] Uc..: She’s a …grace I swear
[13/07, 12:39 pm] Ma.. This is what happens to those who cry more than the bereaved, those who don’t care about the implications of their caustic behaviour and words of today on their tomorrow. She’s been used and she’s dumped for unbridled partisanship. No tears.
[13/07, 12:39 pm] Ma..: …She’s..