By Sunday ITODO
The Appeal Court sitting in Makurdi has on Thursday upheld the decision of the lower court to restore the surpressed ‘Otukpa state constituency’.
By this judgement, election shall be held to produce a Member representing Otukpa state constituency at the Benue State House of Assembly.
Otukpa is a district and the headquarters of Ogbadibo Local Government of Benue State with a State constituency of its own before Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) decided to withdraw it in the 3rd republic, thereby making Otukpa to share same state constituency with Ogbadibo.
Consequent upon the withdrawal, a pressure group known as ‘Otukpa Alede club, Makurdi took the challenge to champion a course of litigation at the court of law.
The matter which had lingered for some time at the High court was however ruled in favour of Otukpa community last year but was subsequently appealed against by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
By today’s victory at the Appeal Court, Ogbadibo Local Govenment Area shall be producing 2 Members at the State House of Assembly with Otukpa constituency and Orokam/Owukpa constituency.
Reacting to the Appeal court judgement, the President of Otukpa Alede social club, Mr. James Agbo dedicated the victory to almighty God and urged INEC to take the verdit in good faith.
Also reacting to the judgement, the Director of Media and Publicity to the Governor of Benue State, Hon. James Uloko applauded the appeal court for living up to expectations and also hailed the resilience of Otukpa Alede club which translates to the court victory in favour of Otukpa.
Also speaking, a stakeholder from Otukpa, Mr. Patrick Lawani congratulated the people of Otukpa constituency for the victory.
According to him, today’s judgement would translate to more development and constituency projects to Otukpa land. “By this judgement, Otukpa would have its own representative at the State House of Assembly after 15 years of being absent from the hallowed chamber. It would also attract more development in terms of constituency projects to Otukpa land”, Lawani said.
When contacted on phone, the Public Relations Officer to INEC in Benue State, Mr. Louis Ochayi could not speak on the court’s verdict as he was seriously engaged in another function.