By Chris Ochayi
Notwithstanding the crisis generated by the recent political party de-registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Inter-party Advisory Council, IPAC, yesterday, declared that Chief Peter Ameh is still the substantive national president of the council.
Crisis recently erupted in IPAC leadership with some of the parties not affected by the INEC’s de-registration order pulling out to form factional leadership of the council.
Though, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had granted an interlocutory order sought by 33 political parties which sued INEC over the de-registration and ordered that the commission maintains the status quo pending the conclusion of the case.
The court will be sitting again tomorrow for proper hearing of the substantive matter.
The second national vice president of the council, Comrade Eyowuowi Rassaq who addressed a press conference at the IPAC’s secretariat in Abuja, said the Ameh-led leadership of the council is intact.
“The council is aware of the release made by the so-called 7-man interim IPAC committee and the position of the council is very clear.
“The so-called Press release today by the illegal committee and the instructions to state IPAC is childish, fraudulent, unlawful and absolutely illegal and it should be totally discarded”.
Rassaq said that the 7-man committee is not known to IPAC code of conduct and as such the council is using ‘the medium to instruct all executive members of IPAC across the states of the federation to desist from taking such instructions”.
He stated further that as far as it is concerned there is subsisting order of the Federal High Court restraining INEC from de-registering political parties in the country.
According to him, “Until the matter in court is concluded, High Chief Peter Ameh-led IPAC remains the lawful and legally constituted executives . Any instructions or comments that is not from the National Secretariat of the IPAC is absolutely invalid,” he said.
Rassaq said that it has become necessary to respond to “issues arising from the recent unlawful de-registration of political parties that a few political parties are trying to take advantage of”.
“It is elementary in law that when a matter is in court, status quo should be maintained. INEC had been engaged in several public misinformations since it arrogantly ignored the sanctity of the court of law”.
Rassaq said the court had given a ruling and interlocutory injunction on the 17th of February, 2020, restraining INEC from going ahead with the deregistration of parties based on the case before the court since 2019.
According to Rasaq , the court has duly served INEC the certified true copy (CTC) of the order.
He also accused INEC of disobeying the court order by refusing to restore the parties to its official website.
Rassaq said: “It is rather unfortunate that, having realized that INEC as a Commission had ridiculously made a public blunder as a commission putting the integrity of the commission in jeopardy.
INEC as a commission that is saddled with the responsibility of registering and monitoring the activities of political parties and ensuring a credible conduct of elections in Nigeria, as a commission that derives its authority from the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended and the electoral act 2010 as amended must know that it has to act within the confines of law”.
The IPAC scribe accused INEC of employing tactical propaganda and allegedly inducing few political parties not affected by its de-registration, saying that “it as “very unethical and hostile to our democracy for a commission that is saddled with the responsibility of conducting credible, free, fair and peaceful elections to be trying to obstruct justice.
Rassaq said that what INEC was doing is capable of causing disharmony amongst political parties, members and supporters across the states of the federation.