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Appeal Court Reinstates 22 Political Parties, Says INEC’s Action Illegal

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The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has reinstated 22 political parties de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Some of the parties reinstated by the court are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Their de-registration was reversed on Monday in a judgment prepared and signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem.

In a unanimous decision, the court declared as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, the judgement of the Federal High Court upholding INEC’s action de-registering the political parties.

A four-man panel of judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo held that the de-registration was illegal because the due process was not followed.

The court also held that INEC’s action was not in compliance with Section 225(a)of the 1999 Constitution as amended, as the electoral umpire did not indicate reasons for the de-registration of the political parties.

On February 6, INEC announced that it had deregistered 74 out of the 91 political parties in the country.

It said it took the decision following a review of the performance of political parties after the 2019 general elections to see which parties qualify to exists.

Although a total of 75 parties were listed for deregistration, one of them – Action People’s Party (APP) – had obtained a court order restraining the electoral umpire from deregistering it.

The electoral umpire stated that the 1999 Constitution vested in it the power to register and regulate the activities of political parties.

It added that the Constitution was amended in 2018 and in addition to the extant provision for the registration of political parties, the Fourth Alteration to the Constitution (Section 225A) empowered the commission to deregister political parties.

Dissatisfied with the development, some of the political parties tested the legality of INEC’s action at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

But in a judgement delivered in June, Justice Taiwo Taiwo reaffirmed the powers of the electoral umpire to deregister political parties in the country.

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Edo Elections: PDP Protests Siege on Governors By Security Agents

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) protests the clampdown on its governors by security agents in Benin City, Edo state capital, ahead of Saturday’s governorship election.

The national leadership of the party, in a press conference addressed by the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, alerted the nation and the international community of the security siege on PDP governors in their lodging in Benin City.

The party expressed shock that security agents were detailed to surround the lodging of our governors to harass and intimidate them, whereas APC governors, including the governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, his Imo state counterpart, Hope Uzodimma as well as the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, are left free in the comfort of the residence of the sacked national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole in GRA, Benin City.

Our party considers this siege as provocative and completely unacceptable as there cannot be two sets of laws for the citizens of our nation. In as much as the APC governors are given the liberty to stay in Benin City, our governors must not be harassed or stampeded to leave the state.

At any rate, we are confident that our governors will not allow themselves to be stampeded.

The PDP calls on all stakeholders in the Edo governorship election, particularly the security agencies, to work towards a peaceful, credible, transparent, free and fair election on Saturday.

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Edo Guber: Youth Leader Canvass For Peaceful Poll, Charged Youths To Desist From Violence 

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A youth leader in Kaduna state and convener of Youths Arise in Democracy Now,  Hon James Makeri  has on all the gubernatorial candidates of all the political parties participating in the September 19, 2020 election not to use youths as agent of destruction during the polls.

Hon Makeri made the statement today while answering questions in an exclusive interview with Kabido Newspaper in Kaduna.

He said that ” my message to Edo youths to particularly not to allow themselves to be use in thuggery and other crimes which will affect the election negatively”.

” Also the main contenders that is Governor Godwin Obasakie and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu should allow the electorate to vote for their choice as there is no victor or vanquished in the election as it is the will of the people which must be respected by all.

He added that Nigeria is evolving and both the youths and elder state men must as a matter of patriotism give way to peace for democracy to flourish in the country.

Hon Makeri further called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be steadfast and honest in the conduct of the election in order to entrench democratic norms in the country.

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NBA Closely Monitoring Edo Election, Says Aikpokpo Martins

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The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) says it is closely monitoring the activities leading to the governorship election in Edo State.

NBA First Vice President, John Aikpokpo-Martins, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja.

He explained that the body is satisfied with the peaceful manner political actors have conducted themselves so far.

“The NBA does not have the resources to follow up from the beginning to the end. As an association, this particular team was set up to observe from tomorrow till the election will be over; that is to say to the announcement of the result.

“However, we have been watching and observing all that is going on. For now, we are satisfied to the extent that the parties have conducted themselves very well, they have campaigned hard,” he said.

Speaking on the possibility of violence in the polls, the legal practitioner said there have been allegations of “threat to violence but not actual violence yet.”

The NBA leader said the allegations and counter-allegations do not automatically translate to violence on the election day.

Aikpokpo-Martins, who is also an indigene of Edo State, said the state does not have a history of violence in previous elections.

Although he admitted that the political atmosphere is tensed with the “temperature very high,” he is however optimistic of a peaceful conduct of the exercise on September 19.

“The security is very tight now. There are a lot of soldiers, a lot of policemen on the streets. I am very sure that will dissuade merchants of violence from going out to disrupt the election in a violent way,” he said.

His remarks come two days after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki embraced his main rival and contender in the poll, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The duo beaming with smiles warmly hugged each other, an indication that they have decided to toe the line of peace and avoid unnecessary bloodshed in the election.

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