Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has said that it was premature for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties in the country.
Falana was reacting to the deregistration of 74 out of the existing 102 political parties by INEC on Thursday 6th February, 2020.
According to him; In deregistering the 74 political parties, INEC has relied on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No 9) Act, 2017 enacted on 4th May, 2017, which amended section 222 of the 1999 constitution. The amendment empowers INEC to de-register political parties that fail to win any seat in local and national elections.
“INEC must go the whole hog by complying with section 222 of the constitution which states that political parties that fail to render accounts of their detailed annual statement and analysis of their sources of funds and other assets with similar statements of expenditure.
“INEC must apply the law with equal force to the remaining political parties.
“LG elections have not been held in 13 states. Since some of the political parties may still win LG elections the law is not ripe for implementation.
“Section 224 says the programmes and manifestoes of political parties shall conform with the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy. The programmes and manifestoes of APC and PDP are completely at variance with chapter 2 of the constitution. So why have there not been implementation?”