…Promise to give him posthumous award
….Says judgment victory for democracy
By Chris Ochayi
Relishing the euphoria of a Federal High Court judgement sitting in Abuja, which restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from delisting them, the 74 political parties earlier deregistered by the INEC, have dedicated the victory to late human rights activists, Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
The parties, at a press conference shortly after the court ruling, also vowed to give the late legal luminary a posthumous award for laying the very solid foundation which enables them to win the court case instituted against the electoral umpire for wrongful deregistration.
Recall Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja restrained Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from deregistering 31 political parties.
Justice Chikere, 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.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the National President of Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, High Chief Peter Ojonugwa Ameh, while describing the judgement as victory for democracy and rule of law, wondered why INEC was bent on halting the multi-party democracy in the country.
According to Chief Ameh, “For us we will continue to defend the constriction, we will continue to stand that every Nigerian born or yet to be born will have the right to freely associate.
“And today is the day we that we honour Chief Gani Fawehinmi. We honour him for standing against dictatorship in expanding the democratic space. We all know him because it was his effrontery that gave us encouragement.
“It is his aluta infinity that gave us the will to stand. So today, the Inter-Party Advisory Council, IPAC, has declared that we will give him a posthumous award.”
Ameh noted that “Let me say this before we leave, the Section 225A that INEC relied on has provision, the least of that provision has not been met, which is winning Ward Councillor, which is winning a local Government Chairmanship, which INEC has failed to realise that they are not the only electoral agency in Nigeria.
“We have 36 State Independent Electoral Commission, SIEC, in Nigeria that shares the same power and assignment with INEC. They are not a baby to INEC. There are 36 of them. Out of the 36 of them, only six were able to successfully conducted Local Government Council elections.
“So, if the Constitution says that the requirement entails that we must win a Ward Councillorship position and Chairmanship of Local Government Council, the 30 states will conduct their elections and after that, we can now judge parties that have not met the requirement.”
And for me and the Council which I preside over today, believe in the spirit of the constitution that Section 25A was illegally put there to weaken the foundation of the constitution which entrenched that there will be freedom of participation.