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INEC deregistering of parties reprehensible, affront on judiciary, IPAC says

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The Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has frowned at the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC’s) decision to deregister 74 political parties.

IPAC said INEC’s decision was without due process and adherence to the provisions of the law and, therefore, called on the electoral body to reverse its decision.

The Mahmood Yakubu led INEC announced the deregistering of the parties on Thursday.

But in a statement in Abuja on Friday by its National Legal Adviser, Chukwudi Ezeobika, IPAC said it was in the know of a court process instituted against INEC at the Federal High Court by 33 political parties, who are its member.

It said the parties in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/444/2019, prayed amongst other things, court order restraining INEC from de-registering concerned political parties pending the determination of the suit.

Ezeobika added that the court on January 23, 2020, after hearing the motion for an interlocutory injunction, adjourned for ruling on February 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.

“By the action purportedly taken by INEC, the council is of a firm view that INEC as an institution no longer has regards or respect for the rule of law in Nigeria and has lost the confidence of political parties in the political affairs of the nation.

“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).

READ ALSO: KOWA Party says INEC acted like a political assassin by deregistering it

“By the provisions of Sections 221 – 229, no provision is inferior or superior to the other. Section 229 defines a political party to include an association whose activities shall include canvassing for votes in support of a candidate for election into a local government council,” Ezeobika said.

According to him, the electoral body should be responsible enough to wait until elections are held in all 774 LGAs and 8,809 electoral wards in Nigeria, before supposing that a party has not won any elective position.

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