BreakingNews 28/4/16 - Intersociety Writes INEC Chair On Non-Conduct Of Outstanding Legislative Reruns In Imo, Anambra & Rivers States Describing It As Invitation To Anarchy

[ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety’s Writes INEC Chair ] - Below is a copy of Intersociety’s letter to Prof Mahmud Yakubu, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) titled “Non-Conduct Of Outstanding Legislative Reruns In Imo, Anambra & Rivers States Is An Invitation To Anarchy”.
 
Ref: Intersociety/SBCHROs/001/04/016/INEC/ABJ
 
 
The Chairman (Prof Mahmud Yakubu)
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
INEC National Headquarters
Plot 436 Zambezi Crescent, Maitama District
FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
 
 
Sir,
 
 
Non-Conduct Of Outstanding Legislative Reruns In Imo, Anambra & Rivers States Is An Invitation To Anarchy
 
 
(Onitsha Nigeria, 20th of April 2016)-The leadership of International Society for Civil Liberties& the Rule of Law (Intersociety); supported by the Southeast Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs), comprising: Anambra State Branch of the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), Center for Human Rights & Peace Advocacy (CHRPA), Human Rights Club (a project of LRRDC)(HRC), Forum for Justice, Equity & Defense of Human Rights (FJEDHR), Society Advocacy Watch Project (SPAW), Anambra Human Rights Forum (AHRF), Southeast Good Governance Forum (SGGF), International Solidarity for Peace & Human Rights Initiative (ITERSOLIDARITY), Igbo Ekunie Initiative (pan Igbo rights advocacy group) and Intersociety, write your electoral Commission concerning  the issue captioned and underlined above.
 
 
It is recalled Sir, that Nigeria had on 28th of March 2015 held federal legislative election into the country’s existing 469 federal legislative seats; made up of 109 senatorial seats and 360 federal house of reps seats. By the country’s 1999 Constitution and its Electoral Act of 2010, judicial enquiries into any dispute associated with the outcome of any legislative poll so conducted, must end in eight months or within eight months; starting from 21 days after the official announcement of the results. The available laws further provide for conduct of a post election rerun or related others in 90 days or within 90 days, on account of nullification of the original poll and ordering of new one by a court of last instance (i.e. Court of Appeal). That is to say those legal disputes associated with the conduct of polls into the country’s 469 federal legislative seats on 28th of March 2015, mandatorily commenced in April 2015 and mandatorily concluded in December 2015 (six months of procedural proceedings plus two months of appellate proceedings), while the appellate court ordered reruns or related others; must be commenced and concluded in March 2016. These laws and judicial orders have been observed in gross breach by your electoral Commission till date.
 
 
It, therefore, saddens our heart that over 12 months after the country’s federal legislative poll was conducted, a number of outstanding reruns abound. Presently at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, five Senatorial Districts with combined electoral population of 10million to 15million have been denied quality and deliberative legislative representation since December 2015. Similar sad fate has befallen other vacant House of Reps seats particularly those in Rivers State. All the five vacant Senatorial District seats and those of the House of Reps in Rivers State are in the realm of “primus inter pares” or first among equals; considering their strategic importance to national cohesion, unity and development. As important as Rivers State is to the country’s national wealth and politics, yet it does not have serving Senators till date; likewise Anambra State and its Central Senatorial District and Imo State and its North or Okigwe Senatorial District. There are no legal, administrative or political excuses that can impeach the right of the people of the areas to enjoy quality and deliberative representation at the National Assembly of Nigeria. The right of a people to vote is sacrosanct, constitutional and justiciable.
 
 
Sir, as Your Commission is aware, there is still outstanding Senatorial rerun for the Imo North (Okigwe) Senatorial District.Your Commission (INEC) was mandated by the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division to conduct a rerun election into the seat nullified by the Court on 11th of December 2015. The Court, in addition to nullification of the election of Senator Athan Nneji Achonu as Senator for the Senatorial District; further ordered Your Commission to conduct a rerun into the vacant seat in 90 days or
 
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