- Barrister Eunice Atuejide has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission to court
- The former presidential candidate says INEC failed to deregister the Action Peoples Party
- Mrs Atuejide in a letter directed to INEC wondered why APP is still a registered party despite failing to meet the criteria
A former presidential candidate, Barrister Eunice Atuejide has sued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), over its failure to deregister Action Peoples Party (APP).
The electoral body had in February announced the deregistration of 74 political parties including the National Interest Party (NIP) chaired by Mrs Atuejide.
The commission noted that the parties were delisted in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The constitution permits INEC to deregister political parties if it fails to win at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in one state in a presidential election or 25 per cent of the votes cast in one local government area, and failure to win at least one ward in a chairmanship election, one seat in the national or state assembly election or one seat in a councilorship election.
Mrs Atuejide in a letter directed to INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu wondered why APP is still a registered political party despite failing to meet the criteria used by the commission to deregister NIP and other parties.
She argued that INEC's claim that APP was not delisted because of a restraining order from the court is no longer sufficient because NIP and 34 other parties were deregistered despite having a similar court order against the commission as far back as May 2019.
“If APP has a pending matter in court which prevents the Commission from deregistering them, what is the suit number of that case? before which court was it instituted? and before which judge is it currently being heard?” she wondered.
She requested that INEC chairman replies her inquisition within seven days pursuant to section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, or deregister APP as provided by law.
According to her, failure of which will result in charges against the commission in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has distanced itself from the emergence of a new coalition known as the National Consultative Front.
The CUPP in a statement sent to journalists on Thursday, July 2 said it frowned at the inclusion of its name as part of the new coalition when its leaders were not consulted.
The statement noted that “the crass performance of the present administration must have prompted well-meaning Nigerians to begin to meet and consult on how best to reclaim our country from the present precipice.”
But, the CUPP said: “We must state that those associated with CUPP at the meeting attended the meeting in their individual capacity and not representative of the CUPP or under our auspices.”
The CUPP, therefore, said it wished to be removed from the list of member groups of the new coalition.
“CUPP leadership has never been consulted. Hence it will amount to misrepresentation in bad faith for these leaders to continue to use the same of CUPP,” the statement added.
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