The Independent National Electoral Commission,INEC, has indicated its readiness to register the All Progressives Congress, APC, as a political party,once the conditions precedent to the registration of political parties, were fulfilled.
This is despite the pending suit at a Federal High Court, Abuja, instituted by another registrationseeking association with similar acronym, the All Peoples Congress, APC. The position of INEC was made known to Saturday Mirror by Mr. Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to the chairman of the commission,Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Asked to react to feelers that the commission may stay action on the registration process of APC, which is a marriage of three political parties -Action Congress of Nigeria,Congress for Progressive Change as well as the All Nigeria Peoples Party – Idowu said “INEC does not work on speculation”.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission conducts its operatons based strictly on its existing guidelines and rules. “Every application that meets the prescribed rules and conditions set by the constitution,gets registered, and any that does not meet the prescribed rules, does not get registered,” Idowu said.
When our correpondent drew his attention to the pendency of a suit and the need to stay action pending hearing and determination, he said: “There are no exceptions to the rules; once the conditions are met, the applicant gets registered.”
On the consequence that may arise,in the event that APC’s prayers are answered in the a f f i r mat iv e , I d owu said,”when we get to the bridge,we will cross it.” A few days ago, Jega had disclosed that the commission had commenced a scrutiny of relevant documents submitted by the APC, for purposes of registration.
The chief electoral officer further stated that as soon as that was concluded, the electoral body would make its position known to the public.
Jega’s position was made known at a workshop jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Democratic Governance for Development Project (DGDP) and Inter- Party Advisory Council (IPAC), on the “revalidation” of code of conduct for political parties in Minna, the Niger State capital.
He had said that “the commission is assiduously working on all documents submitted by the APC and as soon as we finished scrutinising all the relevant information and documents submitted, we will let Nigerians know of the outcome.”