Delisting parties disregard for rule of law – IPAC

The Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria had asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to reverse its Thursday’s decision to de-register 74 political parties.

It said the decision was taken without observing due process and provisions of the law.

The council’s National Legal Adviser, Chukwudi Ezeobika, made its position known in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

Ezeobika said IPAC was 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, seeking amongst other things, an order restraining INEC from de-registering concerned political parties pending the determination of the suit.

He added that the court, upon hearing the motion for an interlocutory injunction on January 23, 2020, adjourned for ruling on February 17, 2020.

He said, “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).

“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.”

He further argued that INEC ought to have been responsible enough to have waited until elections are 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 has not won any elective position.

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