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Delta Assembly Okays Nov 27 Warri LG Polls

Posted by By Austin Ogwuda on 2004/11/26 | Views: 276 |

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Delta Assembly Okays Nov 27 Warri LG Polls


MEMBERS of the Delta State House of Assembly have thrown their weight behind the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) on Saturday's local government bye-elections in the three Warri councils, as well as in the newly created wards throughout the state, saying that they (Assembly) have finally endorsed the move.

MEMBERS of the Delta State House of Assembly have thrown their weight behind the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DSIEC) on Saturday's local government bye-elections in the three Warri councils, as well as in the newly created wards throughout the state, saying that they (Assembly) have finally endorsed the move.

Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Ossai N. Ossai while briefing reporters in Asaba yesterday on the outcome of the meeting which the House held with the Chairman of DSIEC, Justice James Omo-Agege (rtd) stated that "from what we are hearing from DSIEC, they are saying the election will go ahead on 27th of November, they (DSIEC) have the authority to fix elections.

"You see the business of this House is caucus and committee sittings not only sitting in chambers when the mace is available, the House can resolve a lot of issues and whatever the House has resolved in caucus are seen as classified information which are used in our administrative manner that is what the House has done", he pointed out.

Asked why the House did not take cognizance of the petitions from aggrieved communities and groups submitted to it, including legal actions, over the controversial ward creation, Ossai said "the House works in conjunction with other arms of government, the House has handled majority of the issues (petitions) administratively."

He added that "on the issue of ward creation, what the law says is that there shall not be less than 10 wards but not more than 20 wards, so DSIEC has been given authority to use their discretion in creating wards and they have come out with their own discretion. What the people who are agitating want is to know the criteria which has not been the custom of how wards are created. To bring fairness and equity", he went on, "I think in due course, DSIEC will open up and bring out the criteria which they used in demarcating and delineation of wards."

The Majority Leader also dismissed the possibility of violence in view of the wide range of protests and threats should the elections hold in new wards. According to him, "there is no anticipated violence in the state. Delta State, he said is a peace-loving state and I believe the election is going to be peaceful, free and fair and it will accommodate all shades of opinions."

Earlier, when the House committee on Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs, Legal and Judicial Matters charged with the responsibility to investigate the grievances arising from the ward creation exercise was called upon by the clerk to turn in its report as the matter was listed on the day's Order Paper, the Speaker, Mr. Daniel Igbrude said "this matter has been overtaken by event, call the next item on the Order Paper."

The House has therefore adjourned sitting to Tuesday next week.

House defends Omo-Agege's tenure

Meanwhile, the tenure of the present DSIEC led by Justice James Omo-Agege (rtd) is believed to have expired since October, last month.

But while fielding questions from reporters, the Majority Leader of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Ossai N. Ossai rose up to the defence of the "expired" commission.

Said he "on the issue of tenure, we (House) will look back to know whether it is expired, but I am aware that there are administrative processes that can be used in balancing situations because for instance they have been situations where tenure of people expire and a case in point is the one of the Local Government Service Commission. Their dates expired but through administrative means, they extended to three to four weeks pending the new appointments that gives a legal backing and authority. So you can now see the things that happen in that range (Omo-Agege tenure).

"It is not a problem, it's an administration process", he added.

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