The Chairman House Committee on Public Procurement, Oluwole Oke has spoken out in favour of the call for constituency delimitation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
According to the lawmaker from Osun State representing Obokun/Oriade federal constituency in the House of Representatives, the need for INEC to begin constituency delimitation in the country is long overdue.
Oke who in a social media post called for the need to look at this issue brought forth by the electoral umpire with passion encouraged his colleagues to stand up for equity and justice.
He reminded his colleagues that a letter INEC had written to the Parliament some years ago on the need for the National Assembly to remove the seal constitutionally has not been responded to, adding that he was sure that they will be coming to the parliament with the same position.
According to him, “There are lots of constitutional constraints on INEC regarding resuscitating old suppressed constituencies and the creation of new ones even in the face of practical realities.
“It is time for us to stand up for equity and justice and redefine the basis for the creation of constituencies both at the state and federal levels vis-a-vis Senatorial Districts constitutionally.
“Until this is done, INEC can not do anything”, he added.
He wondered why two local governments will produce a member of House of Representatives and a Senator in a state while 16 local governments will have to produce a Senator in another State.
“How would Aba North and South federal constituency with a population of close to one million people produce a member for the House of Representatives while a state with less than one million will produce five House of Representatives members and three Senators.”
Ofofonobs recalls that in March 2020, a member of the House of Representatives from Rivers State, Farah Dagogo, had clarified to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the electoral body does not require a constitutional amendment for delimitation of constituencies in the country.
Dagogo had conceded that while some sections of the country’s electoral act required amendments, the issue of delimitation was already covered in the constitution, and what INEC needed was adherence to laid down procedures as clearly stated in sections 91, 112 and 114.
Section 91 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria explains that, “House of Assembly of a State shall consist of three or four times the number of seats which that state has in the House of Representatives… provided that a House of Assembly of a state shall consist of not less than twenty-four and not more than forty members.”
Section 112 empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to divide every state in the Federation into such number of State Constituencies within that State while INEC is also empowered by Section 114 (1) of the Constitution to review the division of every State into Constituencies at intervals of not less than ten years”, he added.
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