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Deregistration of political parties: INEC has acted without integrity – NCMP chairman

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NCMP Chairman, Comrade Babatunde Ademola

…calls for the removal of Mahmood as INEC chair

The leadership of the Nigeria Community Movement Party (NCMP) has condemned the recent deregistration of 74 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The Party Chairman, Comrade Babatunde Ademola while fielding questions as a guest on a political programme on AIT tagged “Democracy Today” said the action taken by the electoral body can be termed a ‘political fraud’ which will not be accepted by Nigerians in a democratic era such as this.

Ademola who contested as a presidential candidate at the 2019 general elections pointed out that about 33 parties have approached the court to restrain INEC from going ahead with this action binding the electoral body not to act until the court gives a pronouncement.

The case will have its final hearing on February 17, 2020.

In his words, “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, 17th February. The case had been heard, court had sat 4 times without INEC’s appearance in court, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation was joined in the suit and it only appeared in court once.

“INEC was duly served all the court process but in a bid to promote it usual administrative mischief decided to ignore the court of law.

“It should be noted that the grounds that INEC claimed to have deregistered 74 political parties, shows that INEC is the major problem of our electoral processes in Nigeria. If INEC will authoritatively deprive 74 political parties from 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 duely 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 without any formal discussion with the parties involved.”

INEC deregisters 74 political parties, 18 survives process

Ademola noted that INEC is just one out of the electoral bodies that exist in Nigeria, saying 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.

He pointed out that the requirements under the section 225 of the constitution that was passed in 2018 which backs the deregistration of political parties have not been totally considered, and as such renders INEC decision as unlawful.

In a media chat with The Root Media, the party chairman described the INEC boss, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu as a man of dishonest repute, calling for his immediate removal as the chairman of the commission.

He said: “INEC under this current leadership of Prof. Mamood Yakubu lacks integrity in all front, it is a commission without direction, the commission is not in anyway ready to solve or advice the government of the day of an excellent way to go for our elections to be credible.

“The same INEC will eventually announce registration of new parties very soon, the one registered by their ally, majority of which are those who nominated their commissioners.

“The question is in whose interest had INEC acted, whose authority? The law, the constitution that it has refused severally to obey.

“Political parties were deregistered based on performances in 2019 general election which can be considered the most fraudulent, manipulated, unmerited and unjust elections in the history of Nigeria.

“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.

“This Government has crippled every institutions that gives up to the unity of common masses and right now it is coming hard on the only legal platform for chosing leadership in NIGERIA.

“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 does not belong to it for posterity sake.”

He, therefore stated that these political parties still remain valid until otherwise pronounced by the court of law.

Recall that on Thursday, the INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, declared via a press conference the deregistration of 74 political parties in the country, announcing the ruling APC; the main opposition, PDP; Action Alliance Congress (AAC), and 15 others as duly registered and recognised by the electoral body.

Mr Yakubu said the 74 political parties did not meet “the requirements of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitutional Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)”.

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Bayelsa guber: APC returns to Supreme Court, seeks reversal of verdict

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has returned to the Supreme Court; asking the court to reverse its judgment disqualifying David Lyon, its candidate in the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa.

The party’s application was filed on Thursday by its team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun,SAN.

Further, the APC wants the Supreme Court to set aside the wrong interpretation in its judgment of February 13; as well as its subsequent execution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Additionally, the party insists that the apex Court misinterpreted the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court; Abuja which it affirmed. The party argued that the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction and denied it fair hearing; when it proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate.

Also, the APC faulted the interpretation given to the Supreme Court judgment by INEC; in deciding to issue a certificate of return to the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

It stated: “After reinstating the judgment of the trial court; this honourable court proceeded to disqualify the governorship candidate of the appellant (Lyon David Pereworimin); despite the fact that the trial refused to grant the reliefs for his disqualification and there was no appeal against same.

“In this honourable court’s judgment of February 13; the court erroneously and inadvertently stated that the trial court consequentially disqualified the applicant’s governorship candidate; even though the trial court made no such order. Rather, the trial court indeed refused to grant the express orders sought by the plaintiffs therein for his disqualification.”

Supreme Court wrong in voiding candidates’ participation in Bayelsa election, APC insists
Consequently, the APC has urged the Supreme Court to set aside portions of its judgment; where it held that the Federal High Court, in disqualifying its Deputy Governorship candidate; proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate.

“And where it held that joint ticket of its candidates was vitiated by the disqualification of the Deputy Governorship candidate; and that both candidates are deemed not to be candidates in the election.”

Further, it prayed the Supreme Court to set aside the portion of the judgment where it ordered INEC; to declare as winner of the governorship election, candidates with the highest number of lawful votes.

‘‘Also where it ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to its governorship candidate; and the issuance of fresh one to the candidate who had the highest number of lawful votes”.

The APC argued that it was wrong for the Supreme Court to have voided its candidates’ participation in the election; when, the judgment by the Federal High Court, disqualifying its deputy governorship candidate; was stayed as at when the election was conducted.

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Court restrains INEC from de-listing political parties

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from de-registering political parties in the country.

 

In its ruling on Monday, the court ordered the electoral body to stay action on the matter with immediate effect.

 

INEC had on February 6, 2020 announced that it had de-registered 74 political parties in the country, leaving only 18 in existence.

 

Affected political parties have since vowed to challenged this decision in court.

 

 

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Bayelsa: INEC presents certificate of return to PDP candidate, Diri

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Bayelsa Governor-Elect, Sen. Duoye Diri

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificate of return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri as the Governor-Elect of Bayelsa state.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, told a news conference that the commission took the decision after the Supreme Court sack Lyon as the governor-elect of the state.

He said, “The commission has received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement of the apex court which disqualified the deputy governorship candidate and vitiated the joint ticket of the party earlier declared winner in the election.

“The court also ordered the commission to “…declare as winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa State the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread)”.

In compliance with the orders of the court, Yakubu revealed that INEC convened a meeting to review the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.

Without the votes scored by the APC, he put the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election at 146,999.

Out of this figure, the INEC chairman stated that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Douye Diri, scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172.

He added that the party scored more than 25 per cent of the lawful votes cast in all the eight Local Government Areas of the state.

According to the INEC boss, the total number of registered voters in places where the election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822 while the candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes.

“The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.

“Consequently, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as governor and deputy governor of Bayelsa State respectively,” he declared.

Yakubu noted that the tenure of the incumbent governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, would end at midnight on February 14, 2020.

Thereafter, the governor and deputy governor-elect were presented with the Certificates of Return, in line with Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

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