News Review: Deregistration of 28 political parties

16

By WALE SOKUNBI

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last Thursday kicked 28 political parties off the nation’s political landscape in a deregistration exercise that is now generating ripples across the country.

The Commission initially offered no public explanation for the action other than the fact that it was done “in exercise of the powers conferred on it by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended)” Spokesman of (INEC), Kayode Idowu, later told journalists that the reason for the deregistration had been communicated to the owners of the parties.

Parties affected by the INEC big stick include the Action Party of Nigeria (ACN) sponsored by Alhaji Lateef Jakande; Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) owned by Chief Olu Falae, Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) promoted by Pastor Chris Okotie and Nigeria Advance Party, headed by Mr. Tunji Braithwaite.

Others are Alhaji Balarabe Musa’s Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and the National Reformation Party (NRP) founded by Chief Anthony Enahoro. Ordinarily, the registration and deregistration of political parties is well within the purview of INEC. However, the axing of 28 parties in one fell swoop without any public explanation from INEC for the action is odd.

This is because the parties are public institutions. They are not in any private relationship with INEC to warrant the shrouding of the reasons for their deregistration by the electoral agency. By this secrecy, INEC appears to want every Nigerian to get a copy of the Constitution and the Electoral Act 2010 to know its justification for this exercise.

This, certainly, is uncalled for. Nevertheless, the Electoral Act 2010 Part V, Section 78 dealing with the powers of INEC to register political parties states in Sub section 7 that the electoral agency “shall have power to de-register political parties when they are (i) in breach of any of the requirements for registration and (ii) for failure to win a seat in the National or State Assembly election. From these provisions, it is safe to assume that the 28 sacked parties got the boot for failure to win any seat in the 2011 elections.

This provision for deregistration of political parties that fail to win electoral seats in general elections has been a subject of controversy in the country for many years. An alternative view to the Electoral Act provision is that it is the people who constitute the electorate that should decree the death of political parties, and not the electoral agency. Parties should not be deregistered by fiat. An attempt by INEC to deregister some parties in the past was reportedly frustrated by a Supreme Court judgment around 2002 when the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, challenged the conditions outlined for de-registration of parties.

The electoral agency, since then, has never hidden its intention to revoke the licences of underperforming political parties. Although deregistration of parties is clearly within the laws guiding INEC operations, the axing of 28 of them suggests that there may be other considerations for this deregistration. This is because it is not clear that all the other parties that were not axed won electoral seats in the last elections. This is yet another reason INEC ought to have been specific on the reasons for deregistering 28 parties.

It ought to have put all the reasons that informed the sack of the parties in the public domain. However, the deregistration of 28 parties at a go suggests that due diligence might not have been observed before they were registered by INEC, in the first place. This is because if all the registered parties met all the requirements of geographical spread with offices and structures in the required states of the country, they might not have performed so poorly to warrant their deregistration at this time.

The lesson from this mass sack of political parties is that INEC must be more circumspect when it engages in the next round of party registration. It does not make any sense to register political parties only to deregister them en masse just few years after. The electoral agency should also be more forthcoming in its dealings with the public.

This is even more so as the party leaders that it claimed to have disclosed the reason for the sack have hotly contested that claim. Mr. Tunji Braithwaite, National Chairman of NAP and Balarabe Musa of PRP have denied that they received any communication on the deregistration of their parties and the reasons for the action from INEC. They have both contested the sack of their parties, with Braithwaite describing it as interference with the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people, while Musa called it “the beginning of dictatorship in Nigeria by INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega.”

The conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has also joined the fray. Its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said the deregistration would not stand because “it is the electorate that determines the survival of any political party and not the electoral body”. These are genuine concerns and Nigeria may have to reconsider the provision of the electoral law on deregistration of political parties. This is because a party that does not win an electoral office in one election could win at another.

Failure to win electoral office should not lead to the outlawing of a political party. All parties should be allowed to grow to become forces to reckon with and not decreed out of existence. Parties should be allowed to die on their own if they are not performing. To forestall such deregistration in future, INEC should ensure due diligence in the registration process. Once registered, parties aspiring to grow should be allowed to do so.

If INEC is worried about whatever support or accommodation it has to give to political parties, it should play better the gate-keeping function at the registration stage. It should conduct proper checks to ensure that parties it registers do not exist for only few years before they are axed. Let the requirements for registration of parties be stiffened, while all those that are registered are left to function for a reasonable period of time to enable them grow to make impact on the political process.

23 yrs boy started importation with N10,450. Read his story here!

Six weeks ago, I couldn't perform in bed. Here's my breakthrough

How to start a profitable importation biz with as low as N10,000 only

How Adetunji generated over N20 million online in 2014. Almost N2m in 2015

How to earn 40k-200k monthly from football matches almost on autopilot

3 Things I did to cure premature ejaculation after my wife left me

How to get flat belly in just 9 days. Click here!

Small manhood and premature ejaculation limited my performance for 4yrs!

Discover How I made N2m in 35 days from importation business

7 Simple yet amazing steps to earn over N200,000/monthly. Click here

Free Download! How to earn N200,000 monthly from importation business

Discover how I made N58000 in two weeks reselling bulksms to Nigerian companies

Click here now if you are interested in earning at least N7,500/daily

Share.

About Author

16 Comments

  1. We must liberalize our political space.let’s allow d young parties to grow.winning elections only doesn’t deepen democracy.after all we know how some politcal parties win their elections in nigeria.

  2. Ejike, New York. on

    A political party must be able to win election
    at least a councillorship election in one ward where the chairman come from.
    If a party cannot do this, it should go because it is
    not serious.

  3. Very Clean with Full Options Blackberry 9800 Torch1 from RIM ,Canada @ a cheap price Per unit and for bulk buyer price goes down. 0-8-0-9-8-9-9-6-9-0-3

  4. Join the winning team today, and cover all ur financial problem in this christmas season, click here http://www.netcontacts.com.ng/invitation/?invitationcode=329899355 and register to become a member of Netcontacts, and be paid N1500 for each person u invite to register as online member, i advice u to embrace this wonderful opportunity and make tremendous benefits, people are makin money each day passes, all to do is to invite people and smake goodmorning, e.g invite 100 people and make N150,000 in ur bank acct, but after u must have paid ur N1500 for ur membership activation. Get started today, Goodluck

  5. Political party that was not able to win at least ward councillorship is a small committee of friends and should not be allowed to over crowd our political landscape.

  6. The political landscape in Nigeria has been crowded. This is a good one from the INEC. Nigeria is gradually gravitating towards a two-part system.

  7. it is good to make comment, but does the comment yield any good fruit? Party or no Party Nigeria is a dull growing state. But we are going some were.

  8. How can odas win wen greedy,evil,wicked &asasinators called PDP has swon not 2c odas come up. May we see d end of PDP in dis country in exchange 2God fearin leaders. Amen! Though I do not suport d parties bein 2many,bt den,PDP is evil. Gbam! &evil men must not continue 2rule us. Amen!

  9. @Ib, you’re talking balderdash. We can’t afford this country to degenerate back to military dictatorship anymore. Two party system been adopted by the constitution in our electoral process would have been a welcome development. But our problem is, in a political system where Tom, Dick and Harry want to rule, coupled with are religious and tribal differences is highly esteemed in Nigeria, therefore, making that system unworkable. Our problem is power tussle, and reasons why the politicians will adopt whatever means even taking somebody’s life as to achieve that goal, they never bloody care. My prayer is that we ‘borrow a leaf’ from USA and make a formidable electoral process where our election will be free and fair.

  10. @Ib, you’re talking balderdash. We can’t afford this country to degenerate back to military dictatorship anymore. Two party system been adopted by the constitution in our electoral process would have been a welcome development. But our problem is, in a political system where Tom, Dick and Harry want to rule, coupled with our religious and tribal differences highly esteemed in Nigeria, therefore, making that system unworkable. Our problem is power tussle, and reasons why the politicians will adopt whatever means even taking somebody’s life as to achieve that goal, they never bloody care. My prayer is that we ‘borrow a leaf’ from USA and make a formidable electoral process where our election will be free and fair.

Leave A Reply