By Adedayo Akinwale
The House of Representatives has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence the review of constituency delineation as enshrined in the amended 1999 Constitution without further delay.
It asked the INEC to carve out new federal constituencies especially in constituencies covering four local government areas to ensure fair representation.
The resolution of the House was sequel to the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance that was moved yesterday by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu during the plenary.
Presenting the motion, Elumelu noted that Section 71(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended empowered the INEC to divide the federation into 360 federal constituencies for the purpose of elections into the House of Representatives.
He pointed out that Section 73(1) expressly directed INEC to review the division of states of the federation into federal constituencies at intervals of not less than 10 years, and may alter the constituencies in accordance with the provisions of this section to such extent as it may consider desirable in the light of the review.
Elumelu said Section 49 provided that the House should consist of 360 members representing 360 constituencies of nearly equal population as far as possible, provided that no constituency shall fall within more than one state.
He stated: “Since the commencement of the 4th Republic till date, the INEC has not deemed necessary the compliance of the Section 73(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended thereby depriving citizens of bloated federal constituencies adequate attention.”
Elumelu stressed that while the constitution provided a 10 year time frame for constituency reviews, the INEC has not done any known review in the last 22 years of the current democratic dispensation, hence the urgent need to call on the commission to be alive to its responsibilities.