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PRP writes INEC over deregistration; threatens coercive action

96

Notification of court judgment and demand on INEC to obey the judgment of the Federal High Court (FHC) and restore the status of PRP as a registered political party in Nigeria

PRP’s Balarabe Musa

Dear Sir,

We are Solicitors to the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), hereinafter referred to as “Our Client”, on whose behalf and firm instructions we write.

2. The essence of the brief of Our Client is that we should demand from INEC to obey court Judgment and restore the status of Our Client (the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP) as a registered political party, pursuant to the Judgment of the Federal High Court made on 17/12/15.

3. The details of the brief of Our Client are that:

On 3rd December 2002, Our Client was registered as a political party by INEC, pursuant to the powers vested in INEC under Paragraph 15(b), Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.

On 13th December 2012, the INEC, through an Advertorial published in the Daily Sun, at page 42, de-registered Our Client along with 27 other parties.

Our Client was not given any fair hearing before INEC deregistered it, on allegations of breach of the provisions of the Electoral Act and the Constitution.

Our Client, along with 2 other political parties, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/806/14, challenged the constitutionality of its de-registration at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.

INEC (sued as the 1st Defendant) defended the Suit instituted by Our Client and two (2) other de-registered political parties (namely, the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) and the Better Nigeria Progressive Party, BNPP) challenging the constitutionality of their de-registration as political parties.

In a considered Judgment delivered on 17/12/15 by His Lordship, the Hon. Justice Adeniyi Francis Adedeji Ademola, the Honourable Court declared the de-registration of Our Client and the two other political parties unconstitutional and ordered INEC, not only to restore the status of Our Client and the two other parties as registered political parties but to also continue to recognize and deal with them as registered political parties in Nigeria.

In disobedience of the Orders of the Honourable Court, the INEC has neither formally restored the status of Our Client as a registered political party in Nigeria nor dealt with it as such.

For example, pursuant to a notice issued by one Aminu Idris on behalf of INEC, inviting “all National Chairmen and National Secretaries of registered political parties” the INEC held a meeting with other registered political parties on 20/1/16 at its Headquarters office, Abuja, without inviting Our Client.     

4. For the avoidance of any doubt, please find attached to this letter, the Certified True Copy of the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division delivered on 17/12/15 by His Lordship, the Hon. Justice A.F.A Ademola.

5. Specifically, may we draw your attention to pages 13 and 14 of the said Judgment which contain the Orders of the Honourable Court, as follows:

“The Court upholds the arguments of the Plaintiffs and enters judgment in their favour and makes the following orders:

A declaration that Section 78(7) (ii) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) is unconstitutional, invalid, null and void to the extent of its inconsistency and a violation of the provisions of Sections 1 (3), 40 and 221-229 of the Constitution of the FRN, 1999 (as amended).

A declaration that the 1st Defendant, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot de-register the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs, being political parties, except in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the FRN, 1999 (as amended).

A declaration that the purported de-registration of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs by the 1st Defendant on the basis of Section 78(7) (i) and (ii) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) without affording the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs the opportunities of being HEARD AMOUNTED TO GROSS VIOLATION OF Sections 36 and 40 and Sections 221-222 of the Constitution of the FRN, 1999 (as amended).

An order of the Honourable Court nullifying and or setting aside the purported de-registration of the 1st [Peoples Progressive Party (PPP)], 2nd [Better Nigeria Progressive Party, BNPP] and 3rd Plaintiffs [Peoples Redemption Party] as announced by the 1st Defendant on Thursday, 5th December, 2012 and published in the Daily Sun Newspapers of Friday, December, 7, 2012 .and Thursday, December 13, 2012 as same is illegal unconstitutional and null and void.

An order directing and or mandating the 1st Defendant to restore the 1st, [Peoples Progressive Party (PPP)], 2nd [Better Nigeria Progressive Party, BNPP] and 3rd Plaintiffs [Peoples Redemption Party] as political parties in Nigeria and as well as directing the 1st Defendant, her officers and or agents to continue to recognize and deal with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs as political parties in Nigeria.

An order of perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Defendant from further attempting to implement and or implementing and enforcing the said de-registration policy of the 1st Defendant against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Plaintiffs, their offices, properties and assets.”

6. As you may know, Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, makes the decisions of courts binding on all authorities and persons. Specifically, Section 287 sub (3) of the same Constitution makes the Judgments and/or decisions of the Federal High Court binding on all authorities and persons, as follows:

287. (3) The decisions of the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, a High Court and of all other courts established by this Constitution shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by other courts of law with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, a High Court and those other courts, respectively (Emphasis supplied).

7. Being a creation of Section 153(1)(f) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, whose powers are set out in the Third Schedule, Part I (F), Paragraph 15 to the same Constitution, it is our fervent hope that the INEC, under your Chairmanship, would set a good example of a law-abiding constitutional body, which obeys court orders without being pressurized, as opposed to the trend whereby certain bodies, persons and/or organs which derive their existence from the Constitution behave as if they have a discretion to choose and pick which court orders to obey and which to disobey.

8. It is the instruction of Our Client that we demand that INEC should forthwith obey the Judgment of the Federal High Court (FHC) under reference delivered by His Lordship, the Hon. Justice A. F. A. Ademola. Our Client is eager, ready and willing to fully and actively participate in all electoral and non-electoral political processes within the framework of the Constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act, which the Courts have not declared unconstitutional.

9. A formal letter and/or NOTICE by INEC restoring the status of Our Client as a registered and recognized political party in Nigeria, pursuant to the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division may be published in national newspapers and/or delivered directly to the National Headquarters Office of Our Client and/or to any of the branch offices of our law firm at Abuja, Lagos or Ibadan, as stated below:

Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), C14, F10 Close, Mount Pleasant House, Jabi-Airport Road Bye-Pass, Mbora District, FCT, Abuja.

Or

ABOPE Chambers, Ground Floor, Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) House, Airport Road, Behind Cool FM, After Bolingo Hotel, Central Business District, FCT, Abuja.

Or

ABOPE Chambers, 3rd Floor, Right Wing, 18/20, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos.

Or

ABOPE Chambers, 6, Olukuewu Close, Off Liberty Road, Ibadan.

10. TAKE NOTICE that if the INEC fails, refuses and/or neglects to obey the Judgment of the Federal High Court delivered on 17/12/15 by His Lordship, the Hon. Justice A. F. A. Ademola on the subject matter, within 14 days of your receipt of this communication, we shall be compelled to carry out the further instructions of Our Client to apply other coercive legal measures to compel INEC to act within the framework of the Rule of Law as opposed to arbitrary, whimsical and capricious actions inspired by extra-legal, political influences and/or considerations.

Yours faithfully,

For: ABOPE Chambers

Femi Aborisade, Esq.

Solicitor to Peoples Redemption Party (PRP)


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