IPAC hails court order restraining INEC from deregistering 31 parties

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The Inter-Party Adversary Council (IPAC) has described the judgment stopping the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from de-registering political parties as victory for democracy and future generations.

National chairman of the council, Peter Ameh, who made the comment while addressing newsmen shortly after the ruling, said the late Gani Fawehinmi gave the 33 political parties that went to court the courage.

Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in her ruling, said, having failed to counter the application by the applicants, the affected political parties had the legal right, which must be protected.

In an interlocutory motion with suit number FHC/ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democratic (ACD) and two others vs. Attorney-General of the Federation and another (INEC), the applicants had on October 30, 2019, approached the court.

The IPAC chairman insisted that there was no way the commission would have succeeded in the illegality it perpetrated against the parties and the fundamental rights of Nigerians.

“We have every reason to thank everybody who stood against this illegality, especially Okey Raph Nwosu, who, despite his party scaling the de-registration hurdle, still joined in the suit because he believed in democracy.

“We believe in the spirit of the Constitution as stated in Section 40, which gave Nigerians the right to freely belong to any political association, and the Constitution stipulated that no agency of government can restrict that right.

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“We started this case since last year when we saw that there was plan to put Nigeria upside down. It is our right to defend the constitution through section 225 to challenge the commission to stop it from taking this illegal action.

“INEC should know that if the interest of a political party is to talk about free education, the party should be allowed. If the interest is to talk about tree planting in the North-East, it should be allowed to continue with it.

The viability of a political party should not be restricted to winning election alone. Political party is about education and civic mobilisation.

“The ruling of the court today is victory for democracy, victory for the unborn generations, victory for the sustainability and development of our country. It is victory for the judiciary that will ensure that Nigerians should not resort to protest that can cause disaffection among ourselves,” he said.

Speaking further, Ameh, who was surrounded by several IPAC members, said: “Today is the day that we honour Gani Fawehinmi for standing against dictatorship, against the expansion of the democratic space.”

“We honour him because it is his own spirit that gave us the courage to fight. The IPAC has today decided to give him a post hummus award,” he said.

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