House urges INEC to comply with court orders

OrderPaperToday- The House of Representatives has passed a resolution stating that high-powered delegates of the House should interface with the Chairman and the Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), immediately, to ensure compliance with an earlier decision it made on the 29 September, 2016 to restore and conduct elections in two State Assembly constituencies in Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State.

The resolution is pursuant to a petition by a law firm of J. I. Abaagu and Co. against the INEC on the persistent refusal to obey court orders in a judgement delivered in January, 2005 in Suit No. FHN/ABJ/CS/562/2004. The House Committee on Public Petitions was saddled with the responsibility to look into the petition, after which the committee  investigated and recommended thus; “urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to restore the two state constituencies and conduct elections as ordered by the Court within ninety (90) days of the House Resolution on this petition.”

Moving motion today on the floor of house Mr. Benjamin Wayo said that, the commission has engaged in citing of irrelevant and inapplicable sections of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the reasons of absolving itself from complying with the resolution of the House.

He also noted that, in a letter by INEC to the Clerk of the National Assembly with Ref: No. INEC/SEC/NA/547/Vol.1/50 dated 27th September, 2018 the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stated in paragraphs 3 & 5 thereof, “Having come this far the Commission wishes to inform the National Assembly that the process for the Restoration of the Two Constituencies i.e. Ushongo 1 (Mata), and Ushongo II (Mbagba) has been completed….”

Supporting the motion, Mr. Gabriel Onyewife (Ananbra, APGA) berated INEC on it continued refusal to obey court orders.

“INEC can not choose judgement of courts to obey. It is a worrisome development that a judgement has been given and INEC is still foot-dragging. I insist that it is a compulsory action for INEC to take.”

On his part, Speaker Yakubu Dogara added that INEC was under obligation to act according to the provision of the constitution in section 91 and 112 which makes it for a each State Assembly in the federation to have 36- 48 members times the number of the federal seats.

Passing the motion, the House resolved to set up a high power delegation to meet with the commission and report back to the House within 7 days.

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