By Chimezie Godfrey
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has urged the lndependent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to obey court rulings that reinstated the 22 political parties it deregistered on the 26th February 2020.
In a statement by its Chairman, Contact and Mobilization and Member, Steering Committee, Rev. Peter Olusegun, the CUPP advised INEC to promptly obey all court judgement including the recent Court of Appeal judgement instead of wasting tax payers funds on appealing the judgement.
Recall that the five-man panel led by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem in its unanimous judgment voided the deregistration of the parties declaring that, “A Constitutional violation, particularly by public or statutory authority, should not be allowed to survive even for a second for any reason.”
“It is this unambiguous judgment of the Court of Appeal that INEC wanted to rush and appeal forgetting that it is heavily funded by Nigerians who are already over taxed and crying for tax reliefs and palliatives from government amidst COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and economic hardship.
“CUPP calls on INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu to comply immediately to the order of court by re-listing the affected political parties in the interest of the nation and sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
“The era of impunity is gone. As a responsible government agency, if INEC wants to appeal, it should first obey a clear judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.
“This is the essence of the rule of law and social justice as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Electoral Act 2010 as amended. Anything short of this is justice juxtaposed and unacceptable,” the statement read.
The Coalition called on the National Assembly to probe INEC in its ongoing investigations of government ministries and agencies.
The CUPP also challenged the INEC to account to Nigerians how it spent billions of naira allotted to it to conduct the contentious 2019 general election.
It stressed that it is evident that the commission has been reckless in spending huge funds on unnecessary appeals instead of obeying court judgments.