The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, of attempt to deregister it and 21 other political parties despite a ruling by the Appeal Court that it could not do so.
According to its statement on Thursday, SPN said INEC was attempting to catch in on the recent Supreme Court judgement that affirmed its (INEC) power to deregister National Unity Party, NUP.
The statement by SPN reads in part: “The Appeal Court judgment in question specifically ordered INEC to reverse the deregistration of SPN and 21 others because INEC failed to follow due process while implementing section 225A of the 1999 constitution as amended which empowered INEC to deregister political parties.
“Therefore, the Supreme Court judgement affirming the power of INEC to deregister NUP does not affect SPN and 21 other political parties. The matter between 22 political parties and INEC is different and quite distinguishable in term of prayer and context to the one filed by NUP. The question of whether or not INEC follow due process in exercising its power to deregister SPN and 21 other political parties is the context of the matter between 22 parties vs INEC. This is unlike NUP vs INEC that the power of INEC to deregister political parties is the bone of contention.”
SPN explained that the same power of INEC to deregister parties was equally recognized in the Court of Appeal judgment on 22 Parties Vs INEC.
It said nevertheless, the same judgement still went ahead to nullify the deregistration of SPN and 21 other parties and order INEC to reinstate them on the ground that INEC failed to follow a due process in exercising its power.
“The INEC appeal at the Supreme Court against this favourable court of appeal judgment is still pending as it is yet to be decided. Except the Supreme Court upturns this judgement, it remains valid and binding on INEC. It is in the light of this, we reiterate our demand for INEC to comply with the Appeal Court judgement and reinstate SPN and the other 21 political parties rather than being mischievous by trying to use some media organisations to peddle falsehood and misinform the general public.”
It added: “SPN condemns the kind of desperation exhibited by INEC following the supreme court judgement on NUP deregistration by trying to force the judgement on other 73 political parties that are not party in the matter. This kind of desperation displayed by INEC and its flagrant and reckless disobedience of the judgment of the Court of Appeal to reinstate SPN and 21 other parties for over nine months now is undemocratic and unlawful.”