The leadership of the Nigeria Community Movement Party (NCMP) has condemned the recent de-registration of 74 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Babatunde Ademola, National Chairman of NCMP, one of the deregistered parties, in a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja described INEC action as a joke and ‘political fraud’ not acceptable to Nigerians.
INEC on Thursday announced deregistration of 74 parties for their inability to fulfil requirements for an existence based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Ademola, who was also NCMP Presidential Candidate in the 2019 general elections also described INEC action as illegal, saying the matter was already before a court of law.
He said that about 33 parties have approached the court to restrain INEC from going ahead with the action, adding that the court had fixed Feb. 17 for its final hearing on the case.
“INEC has acted without integrity and this is a political fraud. INEC cannot act without waiting for what the court has to say.
“The case is still in court and will have its final ruling on Monday, Feb. 17.
Ademola added that the case had been heard, the court had sat four times, and INEC was duly served all the court processes, yet the commission decided to ignore the court of law.
Ademola added that INEC’s action was unlawful as some of the deregistered party were newly registered and were preparing to participate in upcoming states and local government elections.
“Most political parties have candidates for local government elections that will be conducted in the different states of the federation, which the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) will oversee
“If INEC will authoritatively deprive 74 political parties of participating in the forthcoming elections in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and other local council elections coming up, this is to be noted as hostility towards a democratic state.
“We are in a democratic era and these political parties are by Nigerians and for Nigerians.”
” For a party like ours, we came up weeks before the general elections and met all the requirements during the registration process.
“After the elections, INEC conducted a verification exercise for all political parties and we still met the requirements.
“Now, INEC Chairman announcing the deregistration of dully registered parties (especially when the case is in court) is a joke to me.
“Political parties were registered in INEC’s office, lawfully, in line with Sec.221 & 222 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, not on a TV station.
“So, INEC cannot make a media announcement with no formal discussion with the parties involved.”
Ademola added that INEC did not fully consider the conditions for the de-registration of parties including section 225 of the constitution that was passed in 2018, “and as such renders INEC decision as unlawful.”
He said that deregistering the 74 parties based on performances in 2019 general elections was unacceptable as the elections, as the elections were unfair and unjust.
Ademola said that all the 92 political parties still remain valid until otherwise pronounced by the court of law.
“We are in court, we will protest, we will ensure that every lawful and legal means is taken to stop this fraud on Nigerians again.
“We are very sure of the fact that the court will protect, the interest of all Nigerians and restore political parties.
“The court will not allow INEC to take such powers that do not belong to it for posterity sake,” he said.