By Appolos Christian
The leadership crisis rocking the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) may have finally been laid to rest after an FCT High Court on Monday presided over by Justice Binta Mohammed which upheld the emergence of Dr. Leonard Nzenwa the National Chairman of AAC (African Action Congress) as the valid and authentic National President of the IPAC.
The ruling by the Court presided over by Justice Binta Mohammed has finally laid to rest the controversy that arose following the deregistration of 74 parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It will be recalled that in February, INEC deregistered 74 parties including the PPA the party upon which Peter Ameh was elected IPAC President. This action also affected all the Executives of IPAC whose parties were also deregistered thereby throwing IPAC into a leadership vacuum crisis which necessitated the remaining 18 political parties unaffected by the deregistration to constitute an interim leadership led by Nzenwa pending the conduct of substantive election.
This move angered the Chief Peter Ameh camp who kept laying claim to IPAC leadership despite their political parties being deregistered, a claim the court in delivering judgment in the suit filed by National Unity Party declared that since the deregistration of the 74 parties by INEC is still valid and standing and has not been nullified or set aside by any Court, the 74 parties and IPAC officials whose parties was affected have no legal right to get involved in IPAC business as their party upon which they are made IPAC members are no longer in existence and the only recognized political parties in Nigeria are the 18 remaining parties whose action of electing Leonard Nzenwa as the New IPAC Chairman stands.
The Court held that Peter Ameh’s membership of the IPAC which is determined by a sole slot for each registered political party in Nigeria terminated with the deregistration of the political party of which he is a member stating that you cannot keep something on nothing and expect it to stand. The Court continued that any claim by Peter Ameh’s to the leadership of IPAC was baseless.
Reacting to the judgment, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa declared that yet again the judiciary has held its own as the last hope of the common man and by this judgment, our electoral jurisprudence has been enriched and calm has also returned to the IPAC after months of leadership tussle to afford it the opportunity to commence engagement with other stakeholders for the much needed electoral reforms.