Court orders increase in number of Oyo lawmakers

The court also ordered elections in the new constituencies.

A Federal High Court in Ibadan has ordered that the Oyo State House of Assembly be increased from a membership of 32 to 40.

The state had earlier contended that the constituencies of the state legislature were inadequate.

In a suit, marked FHC/IB/CS/39/2012 and filed by Ojo Adebayo, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the state premised its argument on the mandatory provisions of Sections 91 and 112 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

The portion of the constitution provides that a state House of Assembly is entitled to three or four times the number of its representatives in the lower chambers of the National Assembly.

At present, the Oyo House of Assembly has 32 seats while the state has 14 federal constituencies.

Counsel to the state government, Babatunde Aiku, had asked for the restoration of the constituencies.

Agreeing with the state’s position, Justice Abimbola Obaseki-Adejumo, held that the House was to consist of three or four times the number of seats the state has in the House of Representatives.

He then ordered the inclusion of eight seats.

The newly restored constituencies are Ibadan North 3, Ibarapa South West 3, Ibarapa Central 4, Irepo, Itesiwaju, Oyo East, Saki East and Surulere.

He also ordered that elections be conducted for in the constituencies within the next 90 days.

Meanwhile, INEC’s spokesperson in Oyo State, Ayodele Folami, had acknowledged the receipt of the judgment.

He told reporters in a telephone interview on Monday that the document had been forwarded to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

“It is only the headquarters that can react. They are still studying it and would react appropriately,” he said.

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