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Akwa Ibom gov sued over remapping of state

The Obolo people of Akwa Ibom State consisting of Mbo, Ibeno and Eastern Obolo local government areas have taken Governor Udom Emmanuel to court over…

The Obolo people of Akwa Ibom State consisting of Mbo, Ibeno and Eastern Obolo local government areas have taken Governor Udom Emmanuel to court over his administration’s insistence on remapping0 the state.

The matter, which has created tension across the state, is said to be acted upon hurriedly in the dying days of the administration.

The governor has nine days left of his tenure.

In a statement, the people said the exercise is being done to give advantage to Ona Local Government Area, where the governor hails from.

“In what appears to be his last ditch effort to place his completely hinterland local government area at an advantage position to take benefit of the allocation funds from the Petroleum Industry Act, the Governor sponsored a Bill through the State House of Assembly to enable him remap the state in order to bring Onna, his local government of origin, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.”

“The Governor began this scheme sometime in September, 2021, when, immediately after the President gave his assent to the Petroleum Industry Act. That action generated a lot of protests and dissatisfaction from across the state leading to a legal action which was instituted at the High Court of Akwa Ibom State in Suit No. HU/143/2021.

“In a landmark judgement delivered in January, 2022, the court had ordered that the exercise be stopped and completely discontinued for being unconstitutional.

“The recent steps by the Governor to remap the state completely ignore that judgement. It is worthy to note that even though the attention of the Governor was drawn to the judgement, which remains valid and subsisting having not been appealed against, the Governor has sworn to sign the Bill into law.

“The three local government areas mostly affected by the brazen, ill-timed, ill-advised, ill-motivated, ill-intentioned and extremely agonizing actions of the Governor have therefore challenged the constitutionality of the Governor’s attempt to remap the state taking into consideration the clear provisions of the constitution as enshrined in Section 8(4).

“The suit which is filed at the Federal High Court with Suit No. FHC/CS/49/2023, comes as a result of the Obolo people’s frustrations in getting the Governor to stop the very dangerous act of remapping the state; an act which has the tendency to cede, annex and conscript some existing Obolo villages into other local government areas.”

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