The House of Representatives has mandated the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to as a matter of urgency, conduct a bye-election to fill in the Aniocha South constituency 1 seat in the Delta State House of Assembly.
The mandate was sequel to a motion raised on Tuesday at plenary, by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, under matter of urgent national importance.
In leading the debate on the motion, which was seconded by Hon. Toby Okechukwu, Deputy Leader of the House and member representing Aninri/Agwu/Oji-Uzo Federal Constituency, Hon. Elumelu called on INEC to, as a matter of urgency, see to the conduct of the needed election for residents of Aniocha South Constituency 1 with a view to enjoying due representation at the State House of Assembly level.
Hon. Elumelu who represents Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives described INEC’s refusal to conduct election into the state constituency 1, despite Supreme Court judgment on the matter, as a gross infringement on the rights of citizens of the Constituency.
He noted that Aniocha South State Constituency 1 of Delta State, comprises Otulu, Olodo, Olloh, Isah Ogwuashi, Azagba Ogwuashi, Edo Ogwuashi, Aboh Ogwuashi and Ogwuashi-Uku, while constituency 2 comprises of Ewulu, Nsukwa, Ejeme-Unor, Ejeme Aniogor, Egbodu Aka, Ashama, Umute Abah Unor, Adonte and Ukwu-Aba.
Elumelu revealed that Aniocha South Constituency 1 was created in 1991 by the defunct National Electoral Commission and was duly represented in the Delta State House of Assembly from January 1992 to November 1993.
The Federal Lawmaker further noted that Aniocha South State Constituency 1 has arbitrarily collapsed into the present day Aniocha South state constituency during the 1999 elections while constituency 2 is currently having a member representing them thereby depriving constituency 1 the opportunity to have a representative at the State House of Assembly.
“We are aware that INEC has refused to restore the constituency to its original status, thereby continuing the suppression and further depriving the constituents of their rightful representation in the State House of Assembly.
“Worried that the further suppression of Aniocha South constituency I by INEC, after the decision of the supreme court on similar issues in other constituencies i.e Aniocha North Constituency 2, is not just unfair but illegal and unconstitutional, as it offends the letters and provisions of sections 91 and 112 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended.
“Further worried, that if INEC which is the chief electoral umpire of the country can flagrantly disregard the decision of the apex court of our country, then there is needs to worry. Consequently, I want the House to note that, if this issue is not urgently looked into and nipped in the bud by calling INEC to order, further occurrences may someday provoke anarchy in the country and also, bring the nation to disrepute in the eyes of other nations,” Hon. Ndudi Elumelu lamented in his Motion.
The motion was thereafter, unanimously adopted by the House with a further directive to the House Committee on electoral matters to ensure that INEC complied with the House Mandate.