By Akeem Abas
Ibadan, Feb. 25, 2021(NAN) The Oyo State chapter of All Progressives Congress(APC), has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to restore the state eight constituencies in line with a Federal High Court Judgment.
This is contained in a statement by the state APC Publicity Secretary, Dr AbdulAzeez Olatunde on Thursday in Ibadan.
The Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, had on March 8, 2013, ordered INEC to restore the eight constituencies in the state.
The constituency were Ibadan North III, Ibadan South-West III, Ibarapa Central, Irepo, Itesiwaju, Oyo East, Saki East and Surulere.
Olatunde said that INEC has yet to obey the judgment which was still subsisting.
“We humbly plead with INEC to obey the standing of about of 8 years.
“The judgment delivered on March 8, 2013, is yet to be set aside by any equal or superior court,” he said.
Olatunde wondered why INEC was yet to comply with the judgment, describing the delay as a violation of sections 91, 112 and 114 of the 1999 Constitution(as amended).
He said by the action, INEC had unlawfully denied the people of Ibadan North, IBSW, Ibarapa Central, Irepo, Itesiwaju, Oyo East, Saki East and Surulere State Constituencies proper representation in the state House of Assembly.
“Section 112 of the Constitution states that INEC shall divide every state in the federation into such number of State Constituencies as is equal to three or four times the number of federal constituencies within the state.
“Section 91 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states inter alia, that the House of Assembly of a state shall consist of three or four times the number of seats the state has in the House of Representatives.
“This is expected to be divided in a way to reflect as far as possible, nearly equal population provided that a house of assembly of a state shall consist of not less than 24 and not more than 40 members,” he said.
Olatunde said that Section 114 of the Constitution provided that INEC should review the division of every state into constituencies at intervals of not less than 10 years.
He said that INEC might alter such constituencies under the provision of the section to such extent as it might consider desirable in the light of the review.
“Therefore, considering the fact that Oyo state currently has 32 state constituencies and 14 Federal Constituencies and believing that, to satisfy the constitutional provisions of the 1999 constitution, the number of state constituencies in Oyo state should be 40, being the maximum threshold prescribed by the constitution,” Olatunde said.
He wondered why INEC had failed to review the number of constituencies in Oyo state as prescribed by the constitution since the inception of the present democratic dispensation.
“The constitution is the supreme law of the federation and its provisions are binding on all authorities and persons in Nigeria, including INEC.
“The failure or refusal of INEC to comply with the March 8, 2013 Judgment and the provision of the constitution has deprived the people of Oyo state equitable and fair representation in Oyo state house of assembly, ” Olatunde said.