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Itsekiri Leaders Accuse INEC of Selective Justice and Disrespect for Court Judgments in Warri Constituency Review




Itsekiri Leaders

Eminent Itsekiri leaders have voiced strong objections against the proposed execution of the delimitation and review of Warri Federal Constituency by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in a press conference convened in Warri, Delta State, April 19.


The leaders, in a statement signed by Chief Robinson Ariyo, the Egogo of Warri Kingdom, on behalf of the concerned Itsekiri leaders highlighted concerns of selective justice, gross disrespect for court judgments, marginalization, discrimination, and oppression by INEC.

The leaders began by referencing a 2022 Supreme Court judgment (SC/413/2016) which ordered the review of Wards in Warri Federal Constituency. They emphasized that the judgment was based on constitutional provisions, mandating INEC to review state constituencies every 10 years. However, they noted that INEC’s response to the judgment had been swift yet superficial, lacking proper adherence to court orders.


Central to their argument was the contention over the ward structure in Warri South Constituencies 1 & 2. They alleged that INEC had maintained an illegal ward structure for over two decades despite court rulings declaring it unconstitutional. The leaders cited various legal proceedings and judgments dating back to 1997, where INEC was instructed to adhere to the original 10-ward structure but had failed to comply.


Furthermore, they accused INEC of manipulating stakeholder meetings and ignoring fundamental rights, pointing to discrepancies in meeting minutes and INEC’s failure to address longstanding legal issues. The leaders highlighted INEC’s repeated promises to comply with court orders, which had yet to be fulfilled.

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The conference also criticized INEC’s decision to isolate Warri for review, despite constitutional obligations for constituency delimitation nationwide. They argued that singling out Warri for review was unjust and ignored the presence of Itsekiri people in other areas.


In conclusion, the Itsekiri leaders urged INEC to dismantle the illegal ward structure and engage in a fair and transparent review process. They warned of potential further legal action if INEC failed to address their concerns adequately.

The press conference saw the participation of prominent figures from the community, including; Ojoye Oma Eyewuoma, the Ologbotsere of Warri, Ojoye Johnson Amatserunleghe, the Iyatserere of Warri, and Ojoye Gabriel Awala, the Uwangue of Warri.

Others are Ojoye Anthony Onuwaje, the Otsodi of Warri, Ojoye Brown Mene, the Ogwa-Olusan of Warri and Ojoye Robinson Ariyo, the Egogo of Warri.

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