The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has received the judgement of the Court of Appeal reinstating at least 22 political parties in the country.
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, confirmed the receipt of the judgement in a statement in Abuja
Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), and 20 others were reinstated by the appellate court.
But the electoral umpire said a total of 23 political parties were relisted by the four-man panel of judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo.
Okoye decried that the same court had upheld its decision to de-register the political parties, only for it to later fault its action.
“We recall that on July 29, 2020, the Court of 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,” he said.
The INEC official added, “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.”
Okoye said INEC would approach the Supreme Court for a final resolution of the issues raised in the two conflicting judgements.
He insisted that the commission was focused on preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections scheduled to hold on September 19, 2020, and October 10, 2020.
According to the national commissioner, INEC is strictly and methodically following its timetable and schedule of activities derived from the Constitution and the Electoral Act.
He assured Nigerians and the people of Edo and Ondo States that the electoral umpire was on course and would deliver on its mandate.