By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has disclosed of its resolve to focus on the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states in spite of Monday’s appellate court judgment to the effect that INEC has no powers to deregister political parties.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye disclosed this in a statement on Monday night.
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He confirmed that INEC was in receipt of the judgement of the Court of Appeal in an Appeal filed by ACD and 22 others relating to their deregistration by the Commission.
Part of the statement reads; “In the judgement, the Court of Appeal held that the deregistration of ACD & 22 others is ultra vires the powers of the Commission and ordered the Commission to reinstate them.
“We recall that on July 29, 2020, the Court Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division in an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) affirmed the power of the Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties that fail to meet the constitutional threshold in section 225A. Dissatisfied with the judgment the National Unity Party lodged an appeal which is presently pending before the Supreme Court.
“The Commission is therefore faced with two conflicting judgements from the Court of Appeal; one affirming the powers of the Commission to deregister political parties and the other setting aside the deregistration of ACD & 22 others.
“Faced with two conflicting judgements from the same Court, the Commission is not in a position to pick and choose which one of them to obey.
“Consequently, the Commission will approach the Supreme Court for a final resolution of the issues raised in the two conflicting judgements.
“Meanwhile, the Commission is focused on preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020 and October 10, 2020 and is strictly and methodically following its timetable and schedule of activities derived from the Constitution and the Electoral Act. We assure Nigerians and the people of Edo and Ondo States that the Commission is on course and will deliver on its mandate”, INEC added.
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