March 4, 2021
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Respect constitution, review constituency delineation, Reps tell INEC 

Posted by News Express | 3 March 2021 | 115 times

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By AHMED MUSA

Federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Wednesday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to, as a matter of necessity, implement the provisions of sections 71(b) and 73 (1) of the Constitution by reviewing the nation’s 360 Federal constituencies and 109 Senatorial Districts.

The House also ruled that in reviewing, INEC should take into consideration Aniocha/Oshimili federal constituency in Delta state which has 4 Local government areas and one of the largest federal constituencies in both population and land mass in the entire Nation by splitting it into Aniocha north/Aniocha south federal constituency and Oshimili north/Oshimili south federal constituency and Iseyin/Kajola/Iwajowa/Itesiwaju in Oyo state with 4 local government areas into Iseyin/Kajola federal constituency and Iwajowa/Itesiwaju federal constituency respectively.

The motion as moved by the House Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, also mandated the House committee on Electoral Matters to interface with the leadership of INEC and report back in six weeks.

Presenting the motion at plenary, Elumelu noted that “section 71(b) of the 1999 constitution as amended empowers the independent national electoral commission (INEC) to divide the federation into three hundred and sixty federal constituencies for the purpose of elections into the House of Representatives.”

“Section 73(1) expressly directed that the independent national electoral commission shall review the division of states of the federation into federal constituencies at intervals of not less than 10yrs, and may alter the constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it may consider desirable in the light of the review.

“Section 49 provides that the house of representatives shall consist of 360 members representing 360 constituency of nearly equal population as far as possible, provided that no constituency shall fall within more than one state.

“Since the commencement of the 4th republic till date, INEC has not deemed necessary the compliance of the above section 73(1) of the 1999 constitution as amended thereby depriving citizens of bloated federal constituencies adequate attention.

“Though the constitution provides a 10yr time frame for constituency reviews, INEC has not done any known review in the last 22yrs of the current democratic dispensation, hence the urgent need to call on INEC to be alive to her responsibilities.

“The reality on ground today whereby some federal constituencies are twice the size of others in both size and population is at variance with the letters and dictates of the 1999 constitution. This is so, because INEC has failed to live up to its responsibilities, hence the need to urgently rectify this abnormally for the sake of equitable representation.

“To guarantee effective, quality and adequate representation in the House of representatives, INEC should without delay delimit the constituencies and carve out new federal constituencies especially in constituencies covering four local government areas,” he said.

He argued further that “the continuous failure for INEC to live up to its responsibilities in reviewing the division of states into federal constituencies does not only portray INEC in a bad light but the entire government institution including the National Assembly for also failing to call her to order and invoking adequate sanctions where necessary hence the need for this motion. (Daily Independent)


Source: News Express


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