Senate endorses Suswam’s call for restoration of Mata, Agasha State constituencies, calls INEC to comply

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

The Senate on Wednesday approved the restoration of three constituencies in Benue state.

This followed a motion titled: “Approval for the restoration of Two (2) State Constituencies from Ushongo State Constituency of Benue State and the restoration of Agasha State Constituency from Guma State Constituency in compliance with the decisions of the Courts and Section 115 of the Constitution.”

The motion was sponsored by the Senator representing Benue North East, Dr. Gabriel Suswam.

The Senate also directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to comply with its resolution which approved the restoration of the three constituencies.

The prayers of the motion approved by the Senate include read: “Approve the restoration of Mata State constituency from Ushongo State Constituency as directed by the Federal High Court comprising: Ikov (2); Mbagba (07); Mbagwaza (08); Mbayegh (10); and Uange (11).

“Approve the restoration of Mbagwa State Constituency from Ushongo State Constituency as directed by the Federal High Court comprising: Artikyese (01); Lessel (03);
Mbaaka (04); Mbaanyam (05); Mbaawe (06); and Mbakuha (09).

“Approve the restoration of Agasha State Constituency by altering the boundaries of the current Guma State Constituency to create two State constituencies namely: Agasha State Constituency comprising Saghev, Ndzorov, Kaambe and Abinsi council wards, and Guma State Constituency comprising Uvir, Mbadwem, Mbabai, Mbawa,nyiev and Mbayer/Yandev council wards.

“Direct the Independent National Electoral Commission to comply with this resolution to ensure the restoration of Mata and Mbagwa State Constituencies from Ushongo State and the restoration of Agasha State Constituency from Guma State Constituency, to be effected 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 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended; and

“Seek the concurrence of the House of Representatives in line with Section 115 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.”

Suswam in his lead debate, urged the Senate to note the “decision of the Federal High Court Abuja on the 13th of January 2005 in the case of Ushongo Local 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 Area of Benue State;

“Further notes the decision of the Supreme Court on the 10/10/2018 in the case of INEC v. GUMA LGA and 2 Ors suit No. SC/195/2016 wherein the apex court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered on 16/06/2015 in suit No.CA/MK/137/2012 on the immediate restoration of Agasha State Constituency in Guma 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 the request of INEC, the House of Representatives and the Senate on 14th May 2019, May 21, 2019 and May 28th, 2019 at the twilight of the 8th National Assembly respectively 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 orders 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, its concurrent resolution on the restoration of the two suppressed state constituencies from Ushongo State Constituency and the restoration of Agasha State Constituency from Guma Local Government 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; and

“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.”

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