Published On: Wed, May 22nd, 2019

Again, Reps approves two state constituencies in Benue

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By Christiana Ekpa

The House of Representatives yesterday approved the proposal by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to alter the boundaries of Ushongu State Constituency of Benue and create two constituencies.
The new constituencies would be Mata, comprising Ikov (2), Mbagba (07), Mbayegh (10), Utange (11), and Mbagwa, consisting of Artikyese (01), Lessel (03), Mbaaka (04), Mbaanyam (05), Mbaawe (06) and Mbakuha (09).
he House which reached this resolution following a motion by Edward Pwajok (PDP, Plateau) and Benjamin Wayo (Benue, APC) at plenary also sought concurrence of the Senate on the matter.
Presenting the motion, Pwajok and Wayo noted that, “Section 91 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended provides that, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly of a State shall consist of three or four times the number of seats that a State has in the House of Representatives divided in a way to reflect, as far as possible, nearly equal population.
“The same section provides that a House of Assembly of State shall consist of not less than twenty- four and not more than forty members
“Section 112 of the 1999 Constitution provides that, subject to provisions of Sections 91 and 113 of the 1999 Constitution, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall divide every state in the federation in such a number of the State Constituencies as is equal to three or four times the number of Federal Constituencies within that State.
“Section 113 of the 1999 Constitution provides that, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall review the division of every State into Constituencies at intervals of not less than ten years, and may alter such Constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it may consider desirable in the light of the review”.
They further stated that, “the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had on 13 January, 2005 in the case of Ushongo Local Government Council & 3 others Vs INEC, delivered a consent judgement ordering INEC to restore the suppressed State Constituency in Ushongu Local Government.
“The persistent refusal of INEC to obey the Court orders led to a petition being laid in the House of Representatives on 21 April, 2016 which petition was referred to the Committee on Public petitions which in turn laid its report on September, 2016.
“Even though INEC did not timely take steps to fully comply with the orders of the Court and resolutions of the House, it has however taken steps to comply with the court judgment by consulting all stakeholders and undertaking trotting exercise to map out the boundaries of the area concerned.
“Acknowledges the receipt of a proposal from INEC dated 27 November 2018, requesting the National Assembly to approve the creation of two State Constituencies from Ushongo State Constituency of Benue State”.

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