by Rachel Ogbu
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has announced that the African Peoples Congress was not registered as a political party because it failed to meet the conditions for registration.
On Monday, a letter addressed to APC Protem chairman, Onyinye Ikeagwuonu from INEC read:
“Your application for registration as a political party dated 28th February, 2013 refers.
Titled “Re: Application for Registration as a Political Party,” the letter also said:
“The Commission has observed that your Association is in breach of Section 222(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which stipulates as follows:
“No Association by whatever name called shall function as a political party unless:
(a) 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 provision above.
“Consequently, the Commission shall not register the proposed African People’s Congress, (APC) as a political party.”
Section 222 says, “No Association by whatever name called shall function as a political party unless: (a) The names and addresses of its national officers are registered with the Independent National Electoral Commission.”
According to reports, the INEC Director of Publicity, Emmanuel Umenger explained that the Commission had sent documents, including Form A to fill to the APC after they submitted an application for registration on February 28, 2013.
But the association did not fill the addresses of its national officers thereby breaching the provisions of the constitution. “Yes, we wrote the association today March 21 and the letter is before me here and it was signed by the Commission’s Secretary. The association breached Section 222 of the constitution,” Umenger said.
“There is no second chance; the law is explicit and INEC follows what the law says,” he said.
Ikeagwuonu, blamed the commission of conspiring with some other politicians to refuse its registration.
Ikeagwuonu said at a press conference in Abuja on Monday reportedly said that the association would not surrender its quest for registration, and plans to seek judicial intervention if INEC fails to register it.
A member of the Merger Committee of the All Progressives Congress, Osita Okechukwu celebrated INEC for “serving the cause of justice and defending the constitution.”
Okechukwu described the haste by the African Peoples Congress to INEC for registration, using “APC” as its acronym “as a culture of impunity borne out of mischief which was meant to sustain the one-party state that the Peoples Democratic Party has nurtured over the years.”