Senate Approves Restoration of Ethiope West State Constituency in Delta

Awka – The Senate has approved the restoration of Ethiope West State Constituency (1) in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State from the present Ethiope West State Constituency.

This followed the adoption of a motion by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, at Wednesday’s plenary.

The development comes two months after the Senate approved the restoration of Abraka State Constituency in Ethiope East Local Government Area from the present Ethiope East State Constituency.

In his lead debate, the Delta Central lawmaker urged the upper legislative chamber to approve the restoration of the constituency in compliance with the declarations and orders of the Federal High Court and Section 115 of the 1999 Constitution.

Senator Omo-Agege noted that persistent 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.

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”.

He however 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;

“We are 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.

“it is also a major concern 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;

“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;

“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,” he revealed.

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 Senate 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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