Saturday, 21 November 2015

Benue Speaker Sacked, INEC To Conduct Fresh Election

Benue House of Assembly speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, may lose his seat in Benue state following a judgement by the Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi on Thursday, November 19.

The Justice Binta Nyako-led high court in its verdict dismissed the speaker who represents Ushongo and Mbagwa state constituencies in the state House of Assembly and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return it issued to him with immediate effect, New Telegraph reports.

The court ordered the electoral commission to conduct a fresh election in the state constituencies which Ikyange presently represents.

Justice Nyako ordered the commission to also respect the 2005 judgment that ordered the restoration of the Mbagwa state constituency, and the conduct of elections in Ushongo and Mbagwa state constituencies or any other names that it may be called.

The APC speaker who contested the Ushongo state constituency won the election and eventually emerged as the speaker after the inauguration of the 8th Assembly by Governor Samuel Ortom around June.

He had polled 17 votes in the hallowed chambers against Dominic Ucha of Tiev constituency who pulled only 13.

However, following the court’s verdict, the speaker will be facing a fresh election.

In retrospect, it was said that the Federal High Court had in 2005 held that the people of Ushongo state constituency were eligible for two constituencies and ordered as such.

But contrary to the ruling, the INEC had refused to respect the order.

However, Bem Abunde, the speaker’s chief press secretary, reacting on behalf of his boss said that his principal’s seat was not threatened.

He added that Ushongo constituency remains while the judgment was meant for the restoration of Mbagwa constituency.

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