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INEC ON CALLS FOR REVIEW OF CONSTITUENCIES

Following calls by some members of the House of Representatives for the revision or adjustment of some Constituencies, INEC says such must be passed by a resolution of the two houses of the National Assembly.

Statement by INEC national commissioner for information, Festus Okoye indicates the Commission is already discussing with the relevant Committees of the National Assembly to arrange a meeting with the leadership of the Assembly to address some of the difficult issues in the division, revision and alteration of electoral constituency boundaries in Nigeria.

For instance, the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not place an obligation on INEC to revise or alter the boundaries of constituencies in every 10 years but not less than 10 years. This implies that it can only happen from 10 years and above! Therefore, the Commission is not in breach of the Constitution.

Similarly, the Constitution provides that the Commission may embark on revision and adjustment after a national census, creation of States or by an Act of the National Assembly [Section 73 (2)] and none of these exist at the moment.

On the question of so-called suppressed constituencies, INEC notes that these are constituencies that existed prior to the 1999 constitution (as amended).

The statement further adds that Despite these challenges, INEC is not oblivious of the importance of balanced constituency delimitation on the democratic and electoral processes as the Commission is preparing a comprehensive Discussion Paper on these issues to assist in its engagement with the National Assembly.

However, it is pertinent to note the issue of electoral constituencies is different from the ongoing consultation on voter access to polling units, the statement added.

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