The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it would approach the Supreme Court over the judgement of the Court of Appeal on recently deregistered political parties.
The commission disclosed this in a statement issued by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, in Abuja on Monday.
Okoye confirmed that INEC has received the judgement of the Court of Appeal delivered on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 in an Appeal filed by Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and 22 others relating to their deregistration by the Commission.
In the judgement, the Court of Appeal held INEC did not follow the due process in the deregistration of ACD and 22 other political parties and ordered the Commission to reinstate them.
Okoye recalled 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.
He added that 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 and 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,” Okoye said.
In the meantime, Okoye stated that the Commission was focused on preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo Governorship elections coming up on Sept. 19, and Oct. 10.
He assured Nigerians and the people of Edo and Ondo States that the Commission was on course and will deliver on its mandate.
INEC had, on Feb. 6, deregistered 74 political parties for their inability to fulfil requirements for existence based on Section 225A of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)