The Justice Development and Peace Initiative (JDPI) of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti has asked the National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties that are non-performing and weak.
The JDPI made the request in a letter to the electoral body dated January 12th 2019 and addressed to the chairman of INEC.
JDPI said the call became imperative based on the provision of the 1999 constitution, which provides that “INEC has unfettered power to de-register a political party which participates in a governorship election and fails to to win at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in one local government of the state in the said election.”
The Director of JDPI, Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Rev Fr. Emmanuel Akingbade, who signed the letter said he was writing to bring INEC to the provisions of Section 225A(b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria “as provided by the Fourth Alteration, No. 9 Act, 2017.”
The JDPI letter adds, “We have it on records from the declarations of Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, who was returning officer for the election on 15th July as follows:
“Total number of registered voters: 909,585; total number of accredited voters: 405,861; total number of valid votes: 384,594; total number of rejected votes: 18,857; total number of votes cast: 403,451.”
Among the political parties that participated in the election, JDPI said the political parties it was calling for their de-registration did not score up to 25 per cent and attached a copy of its analysis of the election results “as one of the accredited domestic observers of the elections.”
The JDPI said it was obvious from its records as one of the accredited observers of the election that “the local government with the least votes cast was Ilejemeje and the 25 per cent of the votes cast therein ought to be 2,097, which is even more than the total votes received by each of the participating political parties except All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
The NGO said it considered it “imperative to bring the above to your notice, and to humbly urge you to exercise your constitutional power in the circumstance in the overall interest of out country whose supreme law must be adhered to in all circumstances.”
The group said, “In the light of the foregoing, we request you to de-register all the political parties that participated in the Ekiti State July 14, 2018 governorship election with the exemption of APC and PDP for outright failure to make 25 per cent of the votes cast in at least one local government area of the state.”