By Musa Baba Adamu
The Senate on Wednesday approved the restoration of Mata and Mbagwa State Constituencies from the Ushongo Constituency as directed by the Federal High Court.
This was just as it approved the restoration of Agasha State Constituency by altering the boundaries of the current Guma State Constituency to create two State Constituencies.
They are: Agasha State Constituency comprising of Saghev, Ndzorov, Kaambe and Abinsi council wards, and Guma State Constituency comprising Uvir, Mbadwem, Mbabai, Mbawa, Nyiev and Mbayer/Yandev Council wards.
They approved the restoration of Mata State Constituency from Ushongo State Constituency comprise of: Ikov (2); Mbagwa (07); Mbagwaza (08); Mbayegh (10); and Uange (11).
Also, they approved the restoration of Mbagwa State Constituency from Ushongo State Constituency comprise of: Artikyese (01); Lessel (03); Mbaaka (04); Mbaanyam (05); Mbaawe (06); and Mbakuha (09).
The Senate, accordingly, urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to comply with its resolution, and effect same in the next State Houses of Assembly election after the current life of the Benue State House of Assembly in compliance with Section 115 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
These were resolutions reached sequel to the consideration of a motion sponsored by Senator Gabriel Suswam (PDP – Benue North East).
Suswam in his motion, noted the decision of the Federal High Court Abuja on 13th of January 2005 in the case of Ushongo Government v. INEC suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/562/2004 which ordered the independent National Electoral Commission to restore the suppressed Mata and Mbagwa State Constituencies in Ushongo Local Government of Benue State.
“Further notes the decision of the Supreme Court on the 10/10/2018 in the case of INEC v. Guma LGA suit No. DC/195/2016 wherein the apex court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered 16/06/2015 in suit No. CA/MK/137/2012 on the immediate restoration of Agasha State Constituency in the Local Government of Benue State.
“Recalls that sequel to the said decisions of the Federal High Court and that of the Supreme Court on the restoration of the Mata, Mbagwa and Agasha State Constituencies respectively, and upon request of the House of Representatives and the Senate on 14th May 2019, and May 28, 2019 both chambers of the 8th National Assembly passed a concurrent resolution unanimously approving the restoration of two State Constituencies of Mata and Mbagwa from Ushongo State, and the restoration of Agasha State Constituency from Guma Local Government Area of Benue State in compliance with the order of the courts and the provision of Section 115 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
“Recalls further that due to the dissolution of the 8th National Assembly, it’s concurrent resolution on restoration of the two suppressed state constituencies from Ushongo State Constituency and the restoration of Agasha State Constituency from Guma local governments could not be transmitted to INEC for implementation hence the need for another resolution to approve the exercise as ordered by the Courts and in compliance with Sections 91 and 115 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution;
“Observes that the delay in complying with the order of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/562/2004 and that of the Supreme Court in Suit No. SC/195/2016 on the restoration of Mata and Mbagwa State Constituencies from Ushongo State Constituency and Agasha State Constituency from Guma State Constituency of Benue State is a serious constitutional aberration against the spirit of Section 91 and 115 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution and has over the years unjustly denied the people of Mata, Mbagwa and Agasha of their due representation in the Benue State House of Assembly,” Suswam said.
Meanwhile, the Senate during plenary on Wednesday passed two bills to establish the Federal University of Environmental Technology, Saakperwa Tai Ogoni, Rivers State; and the Federal University of Agriculture and Technology, Oke-Ogun, Oyo State.
The passage of both bills followed the consideration of the reports of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, Chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita (APC – Katsina North).