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Why we can’t create new electoral constituencies now — INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that its inability to create new electoral constituencies despite agitations from some quarters was due to political…

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said that its inability to create new electoral constituencies despite agitations from some quarters was due to political and legal encumbrances.

INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, said this on Friday in Abuja.

He said that, while the division of the country into electoral constituencies for Senate, House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly is the responsibility of the commission, once they are established, subsequent revision of the constituencies and/or adjustment of their boundaries are the joint responsibilities of the commission and the National Assembly.

According to him, any such revision or adjustment must be passed by a resolution of the two chambers of the National Assembly.

He said that due to the development, the commission has been in discussion with the relevant committees of the National Assembly to arrange a meeting with the leadership of the lawmakers to address some of the difficult issues in the division, revision and alteration of electoral constituency boundaries in Nigeria.

Okoye said that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not place an obligation on INEC to revise or alter the boundaries of constituencies every 10 years, as has been canvassed by some opinions in the media.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Section 73 (1) of the Constitution provides for that to happen at intervals of not less than 10 years.

He said that this implies that it can only happen from 10 years and above, thus, the commission did not breach the Constitution, since the revision could happen in 10 years or more.