In a suit at the Federal High Court Abuja dated Friday, 17th July, 2020 with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/694/2020, before the Hon Justice A. I. Chikere as instituted by Hon Koko Dan et. al. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been given a judgement order to conduct the senatorial bye-election, to immediately fill the vacant position in Senate for Cross River North Senatorial seat that was declared vacant long before the Local Government election in Cross River State, since the demise of Sen Rose Okoji Oko.
The applicants in their application consulted the relevant sections of the law as contained in the 1999 Constitution as amended. In an order of Mandamus against the respondent INEC, which became necessary following the declaration of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, Section 76(2) and Section 25(2) respectively, the National Electoral Commission is obligated to conduct a bye-election and filled a vacancy in the Cross River State North Senatorial District not later than one month after the occurrence of vacancy.
From the documents at our disposal, Primetimevoice reports that the order has mandated INEC to fix and conduct election to fill the vacant position within 5days from the date the order.
In the relief granted the applicants as seen in the attached and the letter conveying same to INEC, the Commission was given 5days to conduct and fill the vacant position in the Cross River North Senatorial District.
From the date as the attached court proceedings and documents show, the relief was granted was 17th July, 2020. The court did not exclude weekends as no information indicates that, hence, from the calculations, 3days has already elapsed. How INEC intends to pull the stunt of meeting all the requirements in the remaining two days remains a mystery
It's over 4months gap since the demise of the Sen. Rose Okoji Oko, the senator representing the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State. The best the Independent National Electoral Commission had done ever since was to convey the letter of the vacant position in the Senate to the various Political parties in the state which had marked the commencement of electioneering processes.
This was long before the local government election in the state which was long conducted and winners sworn into offices. Since then, the Commission had continued to dilly dallied without a definite course of action thus causing the state a lost in man power, resources, loss her voice in equitable representation in the Red Chambers of the National Assembly.
The Mandamus is a step in the right direction to charge the Commission to do their jobs with due diligence.
However, as at the moment of filing this report, efforts to reach the Resident Electoral Commissioner in state proved abortive as we could not lay out hands on his contact. However, we were able to put a call across to Mrs. Tonia Nwobi, the HOD of Voters Education in the state, but all the calls to her phone line went unanswered, neither did she reply to her WhatsApp messages even when it clearly showed that she has read them.
We will keep you updated as events unfold.
Content created and supplied by: PRIMETIMEVOICE (via Opera News )