Supreme Court Orders INEC To Delineate Wards In Bakassi LGA

The Supreme Court has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC  to delineate wards in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.

In its judgment On Friday on an appeal brought by INEC against representatives of Bakassi LGA who were displaced from the Republic of Cameroon, the apex court held that the people of Bakassi had suffered enough and urged the INEC  to “do the needful” in easing  their plight

The Supreme Court further held that the Cross River State House of Assembly “has powers to make laws to adjust boundaries of local governments as it deemed fit” in line with Law No 7 of the state, adding that the law did not create any constituency, but adjusted boundaries of Akpabuyo LGA in order to accommodate Bakassi. 

It agreed with the appellant (INEC) that the umpire had the sole powers to create constituencies. 

The respondents in the appeal, Muri Asuquo,  Antigha Cobham, Bassey Ekpenyong Etim and Effiong Iyam who  instituted the case at the lower court on behalf bakassi community in their brief of argument urged the Supreme Court to uphold the February 2012 judgment of a Federal High Court and a Court of Appeal which were in their favour, and dismiss the appeal that was filed by INEC.

The people of Bakassi had gone to court to compel INEC to recognise and conduct elections in the boundaries adjusted by the Cross River State House of Assembly which was in line with Law No 7 of Cross River State 2007. 

Previously, the lower courts in it’s verdict ordered  INEC to conduct elections in ten (10) new wards of Bakassi that were created from the old three (3) Ikanga Wards in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state. 

BY: Kayode Oyedare/Abuja

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