The Ogun State chapter of the Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) on Thursday said it is disregarding the deregistration of 74 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC), insisting that INEC’s decision was in bad faith and unacceptable to IPAC.
The Ogun IPAC maintained that the status quo would remain in the State and the 18 remaining and the 74 deregistered political parties would continue to carry out its activities pending the outcome of the suit instituted by the national body of IPAC at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
IPAC’s decision, according to the State Council’s Chairman, Asiwaju Abdul-Lateef Adedamola was taken during the stakeholders’ meeting of IPAC’s held on Thursday.
INEC had deregistered 74 out of the 92 political parties in the country for their alleged lackluster performance in the 2019 general election.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who made the announcement at a press conference few days ago in Abuja, said the affected parties failed to meet the constitutional requirements that determine their continuous existence.
But Adedamola while reacting to the INEC’s decision while speaking to Uhuru Times after the council’s stakeholders meeting, knocked Yakubu for taking the decision, insisting that INEC acted illegally.
Thirty-three political parties who are members of IPAC had instituted a legal action at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The parties in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/444/2019 are seeking among other things, an order restraining the INEC from deregistering concerned political parties pending the determination of the suit.
According to Adedamola, the electoral umpire should have waited for the outcome of the suit before “hurriedly” taking the decision.
Adedamola said, “the Status quo remains in Ogun IPAC. The 18 remaining and the 74 deregistered political parties in Ogun State have decided to carry on with our programme. We are one family in Ogun IPAC, we shall continue with our programmes.”
“INEC acted illegally, it should have waited for the outcome of the case in court before taking the decision.”
“To have deregistered political parties for the reasons that they did not win any election is a misconception of the freedom of association. We are hopeful the court will set the record straight on Monday, February 17.”
Adedamola queried, “Why was INEC in a hurry to deregister the parties? Why didn’t they wait for the outcome of the court before taking their decision?”
He described INEC’s decision as “an affront on the judiciary, an abuse of the court process and a conscious disregard for the rule of law.”
In Adedamola’s view, “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.”
He concluded that INEC’s action was against the freedom of association as entrenched in the 1999 constitution.