The Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has accused the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, of disregarding the judgment of the Court of Appeal delivered on the 10th of August, 2020 invalidating the decision in de-registering political parties.
The National Legal Adviser, IPAC, Chukwudi Ezeobika, said this on Saturday in Abuja in a statement.
But INEC, in a swift reaction, denied disobedient to any court order on the matter.
Ezekioba, who is also the National Chairman of United Patriots (UP), said that the unanimous Judgement delivered by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, remains a declaratory judgment to which stay of execution cannot be sought for and or obtained by INEC.
“The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, declared unequivocally that the deregistration of the affected political parties by INEC remains illegal, unconstitutional and void and violates the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“It is indeed of great concern that since the judgement of the Court of Appeal was delivered, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, has deliberately refused to abide by the Court Judgment, in immediately re-enlisting the political parties.
“The IPAC, under High Chief Peter Ameh, is indeed concerned over the protracted impunity and disdain with which INEC handles substantive orders and judgments from courts of competent jurisdiction,” Ezekioba said.
He said the council would immediately take the necessary legal action to ask the court to compel the INEC Chairman to show course why he (Yakubu) should not be committed to prison for his disobedience and disregard for rule of law.
When contacted, INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee (IVEC), Festus Okoye, told Daily Trust on telephone that INEC had the constitutional right to appeal against a judgement that it disagrees with and that the commission had made it very clear that it had two conflicting judgements and thus not in a position to pick or chose which of the conflicting judgements to obey.
“And since we are a law-abiding institution, we decide to explore legal means of resolving this particular issue.
“And this legal issue is approaching the Supreme Court, which is the highest court of the land, so that the case of the NUP, that is already in the Supreme Court, and this case of the ACD and others can be consolidated into one.
“So that we have a final and conclusive pronouncement by the Supreme Court on the powers of the commission in relations to the registration and deregistration of parties and also the limit of that power in relation to political parties,” Okoye told Daily Trust.