Femi Falana says INEC should have waited for all states to conduct their LG elections before delisting the political parties. (PM News Nigeria)
Following the de-registration of 74 political parties by the National Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana has described the commission’s decision as premature.
On Thursday, February 7, 2020, INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said the parties were delisted because they didn’t meet the commission’s requirement.
But Falana argues that the law that INEC relies on to de-register the parties is not yet ripe for implementation.
The lawyer said that Section 225A of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 empowers INEC to de-register political parties for various reasons.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu says the 74 political parties did not meet requirement. (Premium Times)
Quoting the section of the constitution, Falana said, “The Independent National Electoral Commission shall have power to de-register a political party for breach of any of the requirements for registration;
“Failure to win at least twenty-five percent of votes cast in one State of the Federation in a Presidential election or one Local Government of the State in a Governorship election;
“Failure to win at least one ward in the Chairmanship election, one seat in the National or State House of Assembly election or one seat in the Councillorship election.”
However, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria believes the de-registration of the parties by INEC was not justified because Local Government elections have not been held in 13 states.
Falana believes INEC should have waited for all states to conduct their LG elections before delisting the political parties.
“LG elections have not been held in 13 states. Since some of the political parties may still win LG elections the law is not ripe for implementation.
“Section 224 says the programmes and manifestoes of political parties shall conform with the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy. The programmes and manifestoes of APC and PDP are completely at variance with chapter 2 of the Constitution. So why have there not been implementation?”
Meanwhile, the affected parties have vowed to challenge their de-registration in court.