Deregistration of parties an affront on Nigerians – ANN
…Kowa Party to sue INEC
The Alliance for New Nigeria ( ANN) has kicked against the registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the political party, saying that INEC’S action was an affront on Nigerians and the judiciary.
Recall that INEC last Thursday deregistered 74 out of 92 political parties in the country.
Speaking in a world press conference in Ikeja, National Chairman of ANN, Emmanuel Dania, described INEC decision as unconstitutional and a contempt of Court, stressing that there was Court order urging all parties to maintain status-quo pending when judgment is delivered on February 17th on the suit instituted by 33 political parties challenging INEC powers to deregister political parties in the country.
The national chairman, said it was wrong for INEC to deregister the ANN when the commission had not given the party the chance to participate in local government elections in all the 774 councils in the country to determine its strength, while adding that commission could not act outside the constitution.
“The announcement of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregistered 74 duly registered political parties and the Alliance for New Nigeria captured on same list can be best described as hasty and unconstitutional.
“The Nigerian constitution is bigger than any organ or arm or agency of government and the provisions are to be upheld and respected by all including INEC.
“The constitutional position is clear on how and when political parties can be deregistered and that position is yet to be attained,” he said.
“This position in contained in the press statement of Thursday, February 6, 2020 of The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, IPAC which clearly highlighted that the constitutional provisions are clear as stated in section 229 defines a political party to include association whose activities shall include canvassing for votes in support of a candidate for election into a Local Government Council and this provision has not been fully and completed exhausted as a political party because we have candidates in Local Government Areas whose elections are coming up soon,” Dania said.
Speaking further, the national chairman said the news of deregistration came as a shock to the party, because the commission never gave ANN any notification of deregistration even when INEC recently carried out a verification of it branches and national headquarters, promising to come and conduct similar exercise for its Lagos State chapter.
“However, from the perspective of Alliance for New Nigeria, we consider the Chairman of INEC Mahmood Yakubu a noble and respected Nigerian, and for this reasons and the fact that the office of the National Chairman or any of its secretariat has not been served by INEC of any notice of deregistration or anything of that and that the only communication we have received from INEC after the last verification exercise at the National Headquarters was that the State Chapters of the party would equally be verified.
“For the above reasons we consider the news making the rounds as fake news or rumour or some form of misrepresentation of INEC.
“We have taken this position because a professional institution such as INEC that has related with all political parties and ANN through formal communication would not announce that the same political party has been deregistered on the pages of some newspapers with due process of notification,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Kowa Party ( KP) has equally threatened to sue INEC over the party’s deregistration by the commission.
In a press release on Monday, signed by Mark Adebayo, a copy of which was made available to Businessday, the party said INEC acted against the law which says that if a party wins at least one ward in a local government election, it cannot be deregistered.
“Ac c o rd i n g to the amended clause that deals with deregistration of political Parties, if a Party wins a Ward in a Local Government election, it cannot be deregistered by INEC. Why it then went ahead to include KOWA Party among deregistered Parties is something that the Commission has to explain.
“We will take all necessary legal actions to redress this dangerous threat to Nigeria’s democratic development. It is also an affront to the rule of law because KOWA Party is among 33 political Parties that took INEC to court on this matter and the case was adjourned to the 17th of February. But INEC took a precipitate action to deregister political Parties before then,” Adebayo said.