Less than a week after the All Progressive Congress (APC) has approached the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) for registration as political party, another rival group, All Progressive Congress of Nigeria(APCN) has threatened to drag the commission to court to secure an order restraining it from registering any group with such acronym .
Meanwhile fresh tension has gripped the chieftains of the merger APC as the INEC set more hurdles for the group before registration. The commission in the requirements for registration , asked the group to furnish it with the addresses of the national officers as required by section 222(a). of the 1999 constitution .
But INEC source yesterday confirmed that the application for registration by the merger group did not come with names and addresses of their national officers, rather an application signed by only the national chairmen , secretaries and treasures of the merging political parties. There are fears however that the merger group may suffer the same fate with the rival African Peoples Congress(APC0 which the commission had earlier rejected its application on similar reason. But another group APCN in a move that suggest more trouble for the merger group threatened to drag the INEC to court over alleged attempt to register another group with similar APC acronym.
The group which is bearing the same name and Acronym with the merger parties (ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS) commenced their registration process with a letter of intent sent to the commission on the 5th of March, 2013 same time as the controversial African Peoples Congress which is also laying claim to the APC acronym
The new rival group , All progressive congress had on the 5th of March, applied for registration , but INEC in a reply signed by its national secretary Abdulahi Kaugama dated March 15 advised the group to change the name on the group that a similar group had earlier with same acronym.
The commission in the letter said ‘to avoid this likely conflict in acronym and in our view of the fact that the other application was received earlier that the one you submitted , you are advised to re –submit the application under a different acronym please’.
The group in compliance with INEC advice re-applied for registration in March 28 as All Progressive Congress of Nigeria(APCN). But INEC again advised the group to still change the name for the same reason that another group with similar acronym had approached the commission or registration.
But the group in a fresh reaction yesterday threatened to drag the commission to court to secure injunction stopping the INEC from going ahead to register any other group with APC acronym.
The national secretary of the party Oguzie Ikechukwu disclosed that the party had also in a similar letter to INEC dated May 22 asked the commission to furnish with the name of the group it claimed had earlier applied for registration under such acronym. According to him’in view of our earlier application with the name All Progressive Congress which you advise us in your letter dated 15 march , 2013 to change name as our acronym is similar to that of another association seeking registration
We therefore demand to be furnished with the name and application of any association whose name is All Progressive Congress of acronym APC and its application is still pending before your commission . Wehereby rely on the section 2 and 5 of the Freedom of In formation Act to seek this information
The group in a reaction wondered why INEC cannot register it as a political party even when it has changed from APC to APCN.