The 74 political parties de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that had their recognition restored via a judgment of the Court of Appeal, are threatening to secure Order of Mandamus to compel the electoral body to obey the court order in their favour.
Kenneth Okafor, Chairman of the 74 de-registered political parties, who disclosed this position after the group’s meeting in Awka, Anambra State, on Tuesday, revealed that there was no justification by INEC, not to restore recognition of the de-registered parties.
Okafor, who spoke through the Secretary of the group, Uzor Chukwuemeka, a lawyer, also threatened to sue INEC, praying for cancellation and nullification of the November 6, 2021, even after it had been conducted and winner emerged.
He frowned at the fact that, despite having written the Commission and submitted list of the Chairmen of the 74 de-registered parties restored by the Commission, the electoral body had shunned it.
According to him, “INEC is fond of disobeying court orders. The Commission has not gone to court to apply for Stay of Execution on the Court of Appeal judgment, meaning INEC is not acting according to law. The implication of INEC not applying for the Stay of Execution, is that the Court of Appeal judgment stays, until there is a variation from the Supreme Court.”
He continued; “But since the Supreme Court has not said otherwise that the Court of Appeal judgment of the five-man jurists led by the President of Court of Appeal be set aside, so INEC is acting ultra vires. If INEC feels it does not want to obey court orders, it is acting unconstitutionallly and ultra vires by de-registering 74 parties.”
Okafor further said “the judgment still stands affirmatively until there is vitiation from a court of competent jurisdiction, thereby returning the then de-registered 74 political parties their inalienable right to exercise their fundamental right, that is freedom of association as enshrined in Chapter IV, Section 40(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
While advising INEC to stop what he tagged ‘their political gymnastic and jamboree’ which is not healthy to the country’s democracy, Okafor called in the Commission to obey the pronouncement of order of the court in the strictest sense, in restoring all the 74 political eto their website and programme.
The factional Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC Chairman warned the rival group parading themselves as the Council’s leadership at the state and national level, “to retrace their steps and join the moving wagon of IPAC to elevate IPAC to its enviable height.”