The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, rejected the application by the African Peoples Congress, one of the political associations in contention of the acronym, APC, saying that the association breached Section 222 (a) of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended.
African Peoples Congress which pasted its posters all around Abuja had earlier in the day raised the alarm that INEC had plotted to deny them registration with alleged flimsy reasons saying that they would resist any such attempts and would also contest it up to the Supreme Court level, but the Commission’s Director, Public Affairs, Emmanuel Umenger when contacted had denied any such plot.
Umenger, however, later confirmed to Vanguard that the Commission rejected the application from the African peoples Congress for failing to meet the stipulated requirements and that the association had been duly informed.
He said: “The Commission has written to this political association and had stated in very clear terms that they are in breach of section 222 (a) of the constitution with the additional explanations stated in the letter. The Commission also observed that the submission made on form PA 1 does not contain the addresses of the national officers of the political association as stipulated and it means this association has the responsibility to prove, because these are the things the commission has observed and the law says if you do not meet any of these requirements you will not be registered as a political party
“The commission has gone ahead to explain in its letter I have on my table. The letter we have sent today was duly signed by the Secretary to the Commission Abdulahi Kaugama and it is self explanatory, the letter is dated 21, 2013 which was signed and collected by one Michael Ogani of APC.”
According to INEC’s letter, INEC/DPPM&L/APC/490/V.1/76, dated March 21, 2013, addressed to “The Chairman, Proposed African People’s Congress,” and with the title Re-Application for Registration as a political party, it stated that African Peoples Congress breached Section 222 (a) of the Nigeria Constitution.
The letter signed by the INEC’s Secretary, Alhaji Abdulahi Kaugama read in parts; “Your application for registration as a political party dated 28th February, 2013 refers. The Commission has observed that your association is in breach of Section 222 (a) of the Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which stipulates as follows: “No association by whatever name called shall function as a political party unless; the names and addresses of its national officers are registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission;. A close observation of your submitted form PA 1 established that it does not contain the addresses of your national officers as stipulated in the provisions above. Consequently, the commission shall not register the proposed African Peoples Congress (APC) as a political party.”
APC had premonitions of its disqualification by INEC
As if it knew the fate that was about to be unleashed on it, the African People’s Congress, APC decided to flood the Federal Capital Territory with its boisterous posters.
Promoters of the new political association spent Sunday night to paste its posters all over the city.
No major point in the FCT was spared. Tree trunks, refuse bins, walls of public and private houses were invaded with the orange-laden posters.
Some residents, who were greeted with the posters on Monday morning as they left their homes for their businesses, were worried that their premises had been defaced with the publicity materials.
The posters were more visible in the Asokoro, Central Business Area, Garki, Maitama and the adjoining districts.
A source close to the party told Vanguard that the promoters had wind of the decision by INEC to reject its registration as a political party.