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Friday, December 8, 2023

22 parties storm INEC office, protest exclusion from Anambra poll



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By Favour Goodness

No fewer than 22 political parties stormed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Abuja on Friday to submit names and particulars of candidates for the November 6 Anambra governorship election.

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The parties, which were part of the 74 parties deregistered by INEC last year, insisted they must be on the ballot papers.

They claimed to have obtained a declarative judgment by the Appeal Court quashing their deregistration by the Commission.

The Commission however rejected their request, insisting they remained deregistered.

It would be recalled that the parties on March 18 submitted letters of notice for governorship primaries for the Anambra poll.

But the Commission, in a reaction, said it would only recognise and deal with 18 parties for the election pending the Supreme Court judgment regarding its powers to deregister parties.

Speaking on behalf of the parties, National Chairman of United Patriots (UP), Barr. Chukwudi Ezeobika, said the commission refused to accept the nomination forms of candidates who emerged from primaries they conducted.

He added the commission denied the parties access code with which nomination forms are to be submitted online.

He said: “The decision by INEC to wrongfully exclude them Parties from the Anambra State governorship election will void the entire process and render the outcome of the Governorship election void as INEC has wilfully chosen to undermine the integrity of our Courts.

“By refusing to relist these 22 political parties to participate in the scheduled election as Ordered by the Court of Appeal in APPEAL NO. CA/ABJ/CV/507/2020, ACD & 21 ors AND Attorney General Federation & INEC and for refusing these Parties access to contest in the November 6, 2021 Governorship election, INEC has once again shown that it has no regards for the Rule of Law in Nigeria. This behavior is unacceptable as it portends a grave danger to our democracy.

“In view of the foregoing, the concerned political parties shall take all necessary legal steps to ensure that their rights, as guaranteed under the Law, are fully protected.”

The affected parties are: the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD); Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP); All Blending Party (ABP); All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP); Alliance of Social Democrats, (ASD); Change Advocacy Party (CAP); Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) and Green Party of Nigeria (GPN).

Others are: Peoples Coalition Party (PCP); Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA); People for Democratic Change (PDC); Young Democratic Party (YDP); Re-Build Nigeria Party (RBNP); Save Nigeria Congress (SNC); Socialist Party of Nigeria, (SPN); United Democratic Party (UDP); United Patriots (UP) and We The People of Nigeria (WTP).

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