Buhari Nominates Another APC Member to Replace Lauretta Onochie as INEC Commissioner


Alt: = "President Buhari and APC membership card of Prof. Rhoda Gumus"

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed another All Progressive Congress, (APC) carrying member, Professor Rhoda Gumus to replace Lauretta Onochie, who was initially rejected for also being APC member and aide to the President

Ms Gumus, an engineering professor at Niger-Delta University, was nominated by President Buhari last month to replace Ms Onochie, his controversial aide on new media.

Ms Onochie’s nomination was later rejected by the Nigerian Senate in July last year, amidst relentless opposition over her bias pernality, although reason officially given by the senate was that a yet-to-retire INEC commissioner is from same state with Ms Onochie.

Perisent Buhari, on December 14, in letter addressed to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan requested the Senate to confirm nomination of Ms Gumus as Ms Onochie’s replacement for INEC commissioner representing the South-South geopolitical zone. Senators have already commenced confirmation hearings and may approve her nomination.

The People’s Gazette in a report claimed it  obtained Ms Gumus’ registration documents that confirm her membership of the ruling party, an action that would violate the Nigerian Constitution if allowed to stand.

According to her registration documents published by People’s Gazette, Prof. Rhoda Gumus became a member of the APC on March 27, 2021, at Ward 08 in Yenagoa. The document shows her membership number to be 58315. Her name is also on the register of the party, and pressure groups within the ruling party have already congratulated her as a member.

Alt: = "Professor Rhoda Gumus' APC membership card
Professor Rhoda Gumus' APC membership card
SOURCE: People's Gazette

If Ms Gumus is confirmed, she will represent the South South geopolitical zone in INEC, a position  Ms Onochie was first nominated for, according to people familiar with the political calculations of the president. 

This will be in contravention to the Third Schedule of the Nigerian Constitution, which prohibits appointment of anyone who is a card-carrying member of a political party as INEC commissioner. Senators dropped Ms Onochie last year on the same ground.

But a group led by political activist Deji Adeyanju has already petitioned the Senate to reject Ms Gumus on constitutional grounds. Mr Adeyanju, in the letter addressed to Senate President Ahmed Lawan and copied to members of the committee on INEC, said Ms Gumus’ nomination should not be allowed to scale through because it will compromise the nation’s electoral integrity.

Prof. Rhoda Gumus is yet to respond to her APC membership allegation.

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