BY JOHNBOSCO AGBAKWURU
ABUJA – NATIONAL Deputy Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and member of the dissolved Joint Merger Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla has said that after 30 days the Independent National Electoral officer, INEC, acknowledged receipt of its application for registration, APC by law can become a political party.
But INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega through his Press Secretary Mr. Kayode Idowu has told the merging political parties that it was not yet registered and cannot be recognized as a political party because it was only last week the leadership of APC submitted names of its officers.
Obono-Obla told Vanguard that the leadership of APC had been waiting for INEC to register it (APC) as a political party after it had complied with the necessary requirements.
He said the electoral umpire had acknowledged receipt of application from the merging political parties of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Congress for Progressive change, CPC, All Nigeria peoples Party, ANPP, and a faction of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA to fuse into APC on 8th of June, 2013.
He said Section 84 Subsection 6 of Electoral Act 2010 stipulated that where a merging political party applies for registration and the INEC failed within 30 days from the date of the receipt of application to register the party, the party is deemed registered.
Obono-Obla said, “We are waiting for INEC to register APC. We have complied with the requirements, we have filled the form. The law said that after 30 days we submitted the application INEC must register us. Our application was submitted more than 30 days now and was acknowledged on 8th of June.
“INEC must communicate to Nigerians this week that they have registered us. Since INEC has failed to communicate to us, our party by law is deemed registered.”
But clearing the air on the registration of APC, INEC spokesman Mr. Idowu said that when the leadership of APC applied for registration, they did not submit complete names of the officials of the about-to-be registered party and they were told to furnish the Commission with the names of the officers in accordance with the Electoral Act.
Idowu said it was just last week that APC submitted the names of the officers, adding, that his understanding of the law was that the 30 days started from the day the merging party completed the submission of the requirement.
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that INEC fixed today to inspect the national headquarters of APC at N0. 6 Bissau Street, Wuse in Abuja. The inspection is part of the requirements for the registration.