A human rights lawyer, Pius Danba has raised concerns over the delay by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a bye election for Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency of Taraba State.
Danba, who made his position known on Tuesday in a letter addressed to the INEC Chairman, stated that the INEC had violated the constitutional provision which provided that election to fill a vacant position must not exceed 30 days.
The Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency seat has remained vacant following the sudden demise of the winner of the February 25 election, Ismaila Yushau Mohammed.
Wondering why INEC has continued to drag its feet, he said, “it will interest you to know that from the 22nd day of April, 2023 to 13th June ,2023 is 52 days.
“It is also well over 170 days now since the death of Ismaila Yushau Mohammed and the seat of the member representing Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency has been vacant since the inauguration of the House of Representatives on the 13th June, 2023.
“The people of Jalingo/Yorro/Zing are not represented at all for over 118 days and counting, which is contrary to Section 76 (1) (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
He added that Section 34 (3) (b) of the Electoral Act 2022, provides for just 21 days grace period after the death of a candidate.
The legal luminary faulted the Commission for giving priority to the Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections.
He said, “it appears that your commission does not consider the election of Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency to be an equally important constitutional activity at all.”