By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
CALABAR- A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has denied issuing any injunction to stop the conduct of February 25 governorship election in Bakassi Local Government Area of the state. Trial judge, Justice Adetokumbo Ademola, stated this, Monday.
The governorship election in Cross River State took place in the 27 local government area of the state except in Bakassi as Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, claimed that there was an injunction before the commission, restraining it from conducting election in Bakassi.
But the judge, said he only issued an order on February 23, that the governorship election in Bakassi and subsequent ones be conducted in accordance with ward delineation based on the current Bakassi council created pursuant to law No.7 of Cross River State and not based on the ward delineation as existed before the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon.
Failure to conduct election in Bakassi had sparked off a protest as about 6, 000 registered voters led by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa went on the streets to protest their being disenfranchised by INEC.
However, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini, who made reference to Section 115 of the constitution, noted that the National Assembly had not approved the alteration made by the state House of Assembly and that the commission could not conduct election in areas where voters registration exercise did not take place.
Igini said the power to delineate wards was that of INEC, while the power to adjust boundaries was vested in the National Assembly, adding that there had not been consequential order to authenticate whatever exercise the state had made.