Justice Binta Mohammed of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, on Monday endorsed the removal of Chief Peter Ameh as chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC).
The judge, who ruled on an application filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) to challenge the decision of 18 political parties that survived the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hammer to appoint an Interim Management Committee (IMC) for IPAC, held that Ameh could not remain in office since his Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA) had been deregistered by INEC.
The 18 political parties had shortly after INEC deregistered 74 political parties met and decided to appoint an interim management chairman to run the affairs of IPAC.
Dissatisfied with the resolution, the NUP approached the court to challenge the decision of the 18 political parties.
In the suit, the party urged the court to declare that the IMC put in place by the 18 political parties was not validly elected and therefore could not run the affairs of IPAC.
It also asked the court to declare that the IMC could not function side by side with the Executive Committee led by Ameh.
In her verdict, Justice Mohammed held that the 74 deregistered political parties cannot retain their membership of IPAC.
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She said: ”Membership of IPAC is predicated on being a member of a political party. There is no way a person who is not a member of a political party can be a member of IPAC.
”A deregistered political party cannot contest or sponsor candidate for election. The said Ameh, was a former chairman of PPA and since his party has been deregistered or no longer in existence, he can no longer be the chairman of a political party.
”His continued stay in office is tied to his being a member of PPA and since his party has been deregistered, he ceases to be IPAC chairman.
”His stay in office is automatically void. You cannot put something on nothing, it will surely collapse. The number of registered political parties in Nigeria now is 18.
”The 18 parties can only chose leaders among them. There is now a vacancy in the office of the chairman of IPAC, since PPA has been deregistered.”
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