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Senate restores State Constituency in Delta

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Ethiope West State Constituency (1) in Delta State which has been a subject of legal controversy in the present day Ethiope West State Constituency has been restored.

The development followed a motion moved by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege on Wednesday at the plenary.

Omo-Agege in his lead debate submitted that a Federal High Court has ordered the restoration in line with Secrion 115 of the 1999 Constitution.

He.explained that agitations by concerned leaders, electorate and stakeholders in the constituency led to legal action at the Federal High Court, Warri with Suit No. FHC/WR/CS/21/2015, but which has now bee resolved.

According to him, in a judgement delivered by Hon. Justice M. Shitu Abubakar on 25th March, 2015, the Federal High Court, Warri upheld the arguments of the representatives of the electorate, stakeholders and people of Ethiope West State Constituency (1), granted their reliefs declaring that “the Delta State House Assembly as it currently stands is not properly constituted in line with the provisions of Sections 6, 36, 91 and 112 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restore Ethiope West Constituency (1) as a state constituency with an elected member in the State House of Assembly”. googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js">

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He lamented that six years after, the electoral umpire has yet to comply with the decision.

“The Senate: Observes that Ethiope West State Constituency (1) consisting of Jesse Ward I, Jesse Ward 11, Jesse Ward III, Jesse Ward IV, Mosogar Ward I and Mosogar Ward II satisfies the requirements of Section 113 of the 1999 Constitution (as altered) and this justifies its creation, and approval by the National Assembly;

“Worried that despite Ethiope West State Constituency (1) being a duly created and approved State Constituency by the National Assembly pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) wilfully, negligently, unlawfully or arbitrarily omitted or removed this State Constituency (1) with code no SC/11/DT from the “Approved List of State Constituencies previously Suppressed” addressed to the Clerk of National Assembly on 2nd June, 2004;

“Concerned that this singular wilful, negligent, unlawful or arbitrary act by INEC has created a real and continuing political suppression and oppression of the electorate, stakeholders and the good people of Ethiope West State Constituency (1);

“Cognizant that to stop the continuing suppression of their constitutionally guaranteed right to proper parliamentary representation, representatives of the electorate, stakeholders and the good people of Ethiope West State Constituency (1) lawfully took their grievances to the Federal High Court, Holden in Warri and challenged the actions of INEC in Suit No. FHC/WR/CS/21/2015 for omitting/removing their constituency from the “Approved List of State Constituencies previously suppressed” addressed to the Clerk of the JiNational Assembly on 2nd June 2004;

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“Notes that in its judgment, the Federal High Court unequivocally declared that the Delta State House Assembly as it currently stands is not properly constituted in line with the provisions of Sections 6, 36, 91 and 112 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and ordered INEC to restore Ethiope West Constituency (1) as a state constituency with an elected member in the State House of Assembly;

“Further notes that the Federal High Court also declared that INEC does not have the discretion or power whatsoever to suppress the existing Ethiope West State Constituency (1) with code SC/11/DT having been lawfully approved by the National Assembly, hence the suppression is illegal, unlawful, null and void;

“Recognises that amongst others, the Federal High Court equally directed INEC to immediately restore and conduct election to fill the seat for Ethiope West State Constituency 1 in the Delta State House of Assembly and the electoral area covered by this constituency shall be the present Jesse Ward I, Jesse Ward II, Jesse Ward III, Jesse Ward IV, Mosogar Ward I and Mosogar Ward II,” he said.

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In his contribution, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger State), said the motion is in order and urged his colleagues to approve same.

He also urged INEC to comply with the court order.

In its resolution, the Senate approved the immediate restoration of Ethiope West State Constituency (1) with code SC/11/DT comprising of Jesse Ward I, Jesse Ward II, Jesse Ward III, Jesse Ward IV, Mosogar Ward 1, and Mosogar Ward 11 in line with the decision, declarations and directives of the Federal High Court.

The upper legislative chamber also directed the electoral body to comply with its resolutions as well as the court decision ahead of the next General Election.

It equally sought the concurrence of the House of Representatives in line with Section 115 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as altered).

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