Nigeria: Bayelsa By-Election - 62 Deregistered Parties Threaten to Sue INEC

27 October 2020

Yenagoa — A total of 62 deregistered political parties have resolved to sue the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for excluding them from the forthcoming Bayelsa State senatorial by-elections.

They said their action is premised on INEC's disregard to the Appeal Court judgement which held that the electoral umpire ignored due process in exercising its powers under Section 225(a) of the Constitution (as amended).

The 62 parties are among the 74 that were deregistered for their poor performance in the 2019 general elections.

Speaking after a meeting with the Bayelsa State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Cyril Omorogbe, at the commission's headquarters' in Yenagoa on Monday, the leader of the affected political parties and chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), David Amabebe, said the political parties have resolved to go to court.

Amabebe said: "It would be recalled that a Federal High Court in May 2020 affirmed the power of the INEC to deregister political parties that failed to comply with the provisions of the law and we obeyed the judgement before appealing the case.

"But in August 2020, the Court of Appeal in Abuja reversed the deregistration of 22 political parties that were among the 74 political parties de-registered in February 2020 by the electoral umpire. INEC has refused to obey the judgement.

"However, because of what our name signifies, we have approached INEC to know why they have refused to involve us in the processes of the Bayelsa senatorial by-elections and they have given us their reasons. And from all indications, they are taking the matter as if it is a personal matter.

"So, as responsible and peace-loving organisations, we have decided to take further legal measures against INEC because we cannot fold our arms and watch them deprive us of our right to associate for our political aspirations," he said.

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