The Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has disagreed with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the deregistration of 74 political parties.
The INEC Chairman noted that the action taken by the commission was in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
However, in its reaction to the development, the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has called on INEC to reverse its decision to deregister 74 political parties.
IPAC in a statement signed by its National Legal Adviser, Mr Ezeobika Chukwudi, on Thursday in Abuja, argued that INEC should have waited until elections were held in all 774 LGAs and 8,809 Electoral Wards in Nigeria, after the signing of the 4th Alteration to the Constitution on June 4, 2018, before assuming that a party had not won any elective position and going ahead with its decision.
It also noted that there is a case in court seeking an order against INEC from deregistering some political parties.
The statement read: “The IPAC is aware of an action instituted at the Federal High Court by 33 political Parties, who are members of the Council in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/444/2019 filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking amongst other things, an Order restraining INEC from deregistering concerned political Parties pending the determination of the Suit.
“The Federal High Court, upon hearing the motion for an interlocutory Injunction on the Jan. 23, 2020, adjourned for ruling on Feb. 17, 2020.
“It is however reprehensible on the part of INEC to take such decision, which is an affront on the judiciary, an abuse of the Court Process and a conscious disregard for the Rule of law.
“IPAC notes that INEC devious shows the commission as an institution no longer has has lost the confidence of political parties in the political affairs of the nation.
It, therefore, said the INEC decision by INEC is against the constitutional right of affected political parties and should, therefore, be reversed.
“The Council hereby calls on INEC to immediately reverse the purported decision in order not to infringe on the rights of political parties as guaranteed under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As amended) By the Provisions of Sections 221 – 229, no provision is inferior or superior to the other.”
“It is however imperative to state that we must, as individuals or agencies of government, be careful not to foist a fait accomplish on the Court.
“It is important to re-emphasise the fact that 33 political parties, who are members of the Council, moved a motion in Court 3, at the Federal High Court in Abuja for an Order of interlocutory injunction restraining INEC from deregistering the concerned political Parties, pending the determination of the Suit.
“The court adjourned for Ruling on Feb. 17, 2020 but the INEC proceeded in error to foist a state of helplessness on the court.
“This is an affront on the judiciary and must be discouraged.