by crossriverwatch admin
The fate of the indigenes of Bakkassi Local government to exercise their civic responsibility of casting their vote in their domain may not take place in 2015 if the matter before the Supreme Court is not determined.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Cross River State, Barrister Mike Igini, dropped the hint recently while interacting with political parties in the state on the preparation for the 2015 elections.
Igini maintained that until the Supreme Court rule on the matter, INEC would not be able to conduct election in Bakasssi because all electoral data in respect of election have not changed, saying that the New Bakassi created by the state government is not known to the Nigerian law.
This latest development may be as a result of the fact that the New Bakassi Local Government Area was created by the Cross River State Government in 2007 through a law by the state House of Assembly.
INEC said this law was only known to the state but not to the federal government agencies including INEC because it does not have the backing of the National Assembly.
The electoral commissioner was responding to a question by some of the political parties, who said Bakassi Local government was disenfranchised during the February 23rd 2012 Governorship election in Cross River State.
Igini said the state must go to the National Assembly to get a consequential order before such creation becomes valid, because sections 113 to 115 of the constitution states that were the boundary of a state is altered, it is INEC that has the powers to correct it.
“Whereas state House of Assembly had created New Bakassi to allow the people exercise their franchise, INEC has continued to insist that the new administrative entity was not captured in its data thus it could only conduct election in the old Bakassi areas of Dayspring which formed part of old Bakassi that was ceded to Cameroon.” He said.
It would be recalled that the decision of INEC to conduct elections in the remaining part of Old Bakassi in Dayspring 1&2 was challenged at the Federal High court by the state government, where judgment was given in favor the State, INEC was ordered to conduct elections in the new Bakassi of Ikang North, Central and South wards carved out of Akpabuyo.
Dissatisfied with the judgment , INEC challenged the decision of the Federal High court in the Appeal Court and further went to the Supreme Court to determine the true position on the point of law.
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