An Appeal Court sitting in Benin City, Edo State has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to restore forthwith the Aniocha North II State Constituency of Delta State.
The court also ordered the Commission to conduct elections within three months in Aniocha North Local Government Area to elect, henceforth, member to represent Aniocha North II Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly.
In a unanimous judgment read by Justice M.A.A Adumein, the Appeal Court said the Federal High Court, Asaba erred in law when it declared that the case startle bar, and therefore upheld the claim by the appellants, Mr. Akiah Humphrey, Emma Ebo and Sunday Okenyi.
The appellants represented by Mr. Habeeb Lawal had complained that INEC ought not to have suppressed Aniocha North II State Constituency which was created by the National Electoral Commission in 1991 and which was duly represented by Mr. Akiah Humphrey in the Delta State House of Assembly from January 1992 to November 1993.
The Appeal Court judge, Justice Adumein, after careful study the case declared that the appellants’ claims have merit and that INEC acted without legal justification in suppressing the constituency of the appellants.
The Court also found that the restoration of the appellants’ constituency would aid in the fulfillment of the Constitution which requires that a State House of Assembly must be made up of at least three or four times the number of members of the House of Representatives from that State.
The Court noted that Delta State has 10 members in the House of Representatives and should at least have 30 members in the House of Assembly as against the 29 members that it currently has.
The Aniocha North II State Constituency comprises Idumuje Unor, Idumuje-Ugboko, Nkwu-Nzu, Ugboba, Idumuogo, Ugbodu, Ubulubu, Anioma and Ogodo in Odiani Clans in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Reacting on the judgment, Governor Okowa’s Senior Special Adviser Mr. Emma Eboh expressed joy over the judgment, “saying we are very happy for the Aniocha North to have two constituencies as opposed to the single constituency that has been on ground 1992”
“We have been denied of this since but as civilized people, we went to court to seek justice and today it has been given. It is a good sign.” Eboh said.