Prof. Mahmood Yakubu
Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Through, Resident Electoral Commissioner (INEC)
Anambra State, House of Assembly Road, Awka
INEC Must Obey Appeal Court Judgment Re-Listing All De-Registered Political Parties
It is our stand that INEC must obey the Appeal Court Judgment in Appeal No.CA/E/170/2014 between Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba V. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) & Anor which made an Order relisting all de-registered political parties in Nigeria.
In order to enable us verify the above stand, it has become necessary for us to seek for information on the Full List of all Registered Political Parties eligible to sponsor candidates in the forthcoming General Elections. We therefore apply for and seek for information on the Certified True Copy (C.T.C) of the Full List of All Registered Political Parties eligible to sponsor candidates in the forthcoming General Elections. This information is sought pursuant to Sections 2(1) & (3) and 5(a) of Freedom of Information Act 2011.
It will recalled that by a Judgment delivered on 2nd June, 2016, INEC was stripped of its powers under Section 78(7) (i) & (ii) of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) to de-register political parties in Nigeria. The Court of Appeal, Enugu in its judgment made the following sweeping declaration and Orders in Reliefs 1, 3 and 4 amongst other Reliefs granted to the Appellant, Barrister Jezie Ekejiuba namely:
“1. A Declaration that the provisions of Section 78(7) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended) are from the date of the commencement of the said Act inconsistent with and violate the provisions of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As Amended) and are accordingly unconstitutional, null and void and inoperative”.
“3. An Order setting aside, nullifying and or voiding Section 78(7) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended) pursuant to Section 1(3) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (As Amended)”.
“4. An Order setting aside, nullifying all the steps or actions taken or being taken by the 1st Defendant (INEC) based on or connected with or relating to the exercise of powers under Section 78(7) of Electoral Act, 2010 (As Amended) including the de-registration and withdrawal of Certificate of Registration of Seven (7) recognized political parties in Nigeria namely Democratic Alternative (DA), National Action Council (NAC), National Democratic Liberty Party (NDLP), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN), Nigeria Peoples Congress (NPC), Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP) and National Unity Party (NUP) made on 18th August, 2011 by the Defendant (INEC)”.
The interpretation of the Judgment as can be seen in Reliefs 1, 3 and 4 above is that all de-registered political parties in Nigeria were restored back to life. While the above Seven (7) political parties were de-registered on 18th August, 2011, Twenty-Eight (28) other political parties listed in the Further Affidavit were de-registered on 6th December, 2012 during the pendency of the suit bringing the total number of de-registered political parties to Thirty-Five (35), which were the subject-matter of the Appeal – hence this application to confirm due compliance with the Appeal Court Judgment.
We will not hesitate to file Form 49 against INEC Chairman for disobedience of Court Order should the Commission treat this application with levity. It is a waste of resources to embark on formation of new political parties when there are many political parties in existence. Nigerian citizens deserve to know with certainty information on the Full List of all Registered political parties eligible to sponsor candidates in the forthcoming General Elections so that the politicians can join these parties to contest elections rather than forming new political parties.
Dated this 24th Day of March, 2017.
BARRISTER JEZIE EKEJIUBA
ONITSHA-BASED HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER
& PRESIDENT,VOTERS RIGHTS INTERNATIONAL