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INEC fixes Ondo poll for Oct. 10

Governorship election will hold in Edo State on September 19. Ondo State will take its turn on October 10, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said on Thursday.

He also announced the delisting of 74 political parties.

Seventy four political parties, including the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s National Conscience Party and Pastor Chris Okotie’s Fresh Party, are no more recognised.

With their removal from the list of registered parties, there are now 18 recognised parties that can participate in future elections.

The electoral umpire explained that the 74 parties were removed from its list   for failing to satisfy the requirements to operate in line with the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

It said 16 parties fulfilled the requirements for existence as stipulated in Section 225A of the Constitution.

The certified parties are: Accord Party (AP), Action Alliance (AA), African Democratic Congress (ADC),African Democratic Party (ADP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Labour Party (LP) and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Others are: National Rescue Movement (NRM), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).

Yakubu told reporters at the commission’s headquarters, that two  political parties — the Action Peoples Party (APP) and Boot Party (BP)  which it registered  after the 2019 general elections will continue to exist.

Yakubu said: “You will recall that prior to the 2019 general election, Nigeria had 91 political parties.  One more party was registered by court order after the election, making a total of 92 political parties. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), vests in INEC the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.

“You will also recall that in 2018, the Constitution was amended. In addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowers the Commission to deregister political parties.

“Prior to the Fourth Alteration, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), had provided for the deregistration of political parties. Based on this provision, the commission, between 2011 and 2013, deregistered 39 political parties.

“However, several of the parties challenged the power of INEC to deregister them, particularly on the grounds that the Electoral Act is inferior to the Constitution and that the deregistration infringed their fundamental rights under the same Constitution. “Subsequently, the courts ordered the commission to reinstate the parties. It was for this reason that the National Assembly amended the Constitution to empower the Commission to deregister political parties on the following grounds: breach of any of the requirements for registration as a political party, failure to win at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in one state of the federation in a presidential election or 25 per cent  of the votes cast in one Local Government Area of a state in a governorship election  and failure to win at least one ward in a chairmanship election, one seat in the national or state assembly elections or one seat in a councillorship election.

“In order to implement the provision of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution, the Commission carried out an assessment of political parties to determine compliance with the requirements for their registration.

“Similarly, following the conclusion of the 2019 general elections, including court-ordered re-run elections arising from litigations, the commission was able to determine the performance of political parties in the elections.

“In addition, they were also assessed on the basis of their performance in the area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which coincided with the 2019 general elections.

“It should be noted that the FCT is the only part of the country where INEC is empowered by the Constitution to conduct local government elections.

“Consequently, the commission has determined that sixteen (16) political parties have fulfilled the requirements for existence based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

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“Seventy-five (75) political parties did not satisfy the requirements of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution. However, one of the political parties, the Action Peoples Party (APP), filed a suit in court and obtained an order restraining the commission from deregistering it. Consequently, the party remains registered pending the determination of the case by the court.

“The new political party, Boot Party (BP), registered by court order after the 2019 general election will also continue to exist.

“Accordingly, seventy-four (74) political parties are hereby deregistered. With this development, Nigeria now has  18 registered political parties.”

Yakubu told reporters at the commission’s headquarters, that two  political parties — the Action Peoples Party (APP) and Boot Party (BP)  which it registered  after the 2019 general elections will continue to exist.

Yakubu said: “You will recall that prior to the 2019 general election, Nigeria had 91 political parties.  One more party was registered by court order after the election, making a total of 92 political parties. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), vests in INEC the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.

“You will also recall that in 2018, the Constitution was amended. In addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowers the Commission to deregister political parties.

“Prior to the Fourth Alteration, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), had provided for the deregistration of political parties. Based on this provision, the commission, between 2011 and 2013, deregistered 39 political parties.

“However, several of the parties challenged the power of INEC to deregister them, particularly on the grounds that the Electoral Act is inferior to the Constitution and that the deregistration infringed their fundamental rights under the same Constitution. “Subsequently, the courts ordered the commission to reinstate the parties. It was for this reason that the National Assembly amended the Constitution to empower the Commission to deregister political parties on the following grounds: breach of any of the requirements for registration as a political party, failure to win at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in one state of the federation in a presidential election or 25 per cent  of the votes cast in one Local Government Area of a state in a governorship election  and failure to win at least one ward in a chairmanship election, one seat in the national or state assembly elections or one seat in a councillorship election.

“In order to implement the provision of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution, the Commission carried out an assessment of political parties to determine compliance with the requirements for their registration.

“Similarly, following the conclusion of the 2019 general elections, including court-ordered re-run elections arising from litigations, the commission was able to determine the performance of political parties in the elections.

“In addition, they were also assessed on the basis of their performance in the area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) which coincided with the 2019 general elections.

“It should be noted that the FCT is the only part of the country where INEC is empowered by the Constitution to conduct local government elections.

“Consequently, the commission has determined that sixteen (16) political parties have fulfilled the requirements for existence based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“Seventy-five (75) political parties did not satisfy the requirements of the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution. However, one of the political parties, the Action Peoples Party (APP), filed a suit in court and obtained an order restraining the commission from deregistering it. Consequently, the party remains registered pending the determination of the case by the court.

“The new political party, Boot Party (BP), registered by court order after the 2019 general election will also continue to exist.

“Accordingly, seventy-four (74) political parties are hereby deregistered. With this development, Nigeria now has  18 registered political parties.”

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