SPN AND 21 PARTIES VS INEC: SUPREME COURT ADJOURNS MATTER TO NOVEMBER 15, 2021
SPN CALLS ON THE LABOUR MOVEMENT TO DEFEND DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND ALSO MOBILIZE FOR A WORKING PEOPLES POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE
The matter between the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and 22 political parties including the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) came up today (Thursday, October 28, 2021) at the Supreme Court in Abuja over the undemocratic deregistration of political parties and has been adjourned to November 15, 2021. The matter was adjourned partly because two political parties filed applications to join the suit. INEC had gone to the apex court to challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal which was in favour of the SPN and other deregistered political parties.
It will be recalled that INEC deregistered 23 political parties on some ridiculous and undemocratic grounds despite the fact that the parties had approached the Federal High Court in October 2019 and secured a valid order stopping the deregistration.
INEC relied on an undemocratic clause (Section 225A) smuggled into the 1999 Constitution that states that political parties will be deregistered for not winning a seat in the parliament or executive position either at the local government, state or federal level during a general election or local government elections. This provision is absurd given the monumental monetisation, rigging and violence that usually characterize elections and which make it difficult for small parties to win elections. Besides, the essence of politics and elections is not only tied to winning positions, it is to also mobilise citizens around a political program upon which to genuinely build a better society where the needs of the vast majority are guaranteed. It is the self-serving bourgeois ruling elite who reduce politics to desperately winning elections in order to appropriate the collectively owned resources and continue these ruinous and anti-people policies.
Justice Chikere Anwuli of the Federal High Court gave a judgment on Thursday, June 11, 2020, that reaffirmed the power of INEC to deregister thereby validating the undemocratic action of INEC not minding the fact that INEC had earlier desecrated her order against the deregistration of the affected parties. SPN and 21 other political parties challenged INEC deregistration and the judgment at the Appeal Court and Court of Appeal gave a judgement on August 10, 2020, that nullified the deregistration and ordered INEC to re-register and give recognition to the affected political parties. INEC has refused to obey the judgment and order of the Court of Appeal, though has challenged it at the Supreme Court. INEC’s action is not only undemocratic, it is executive recklessness that reflects the character of the bourgeois ruling elite. The affected political parties have been denied the right to participate in elections so far.
What is at stake is clearly the genuine development of the country, something the ruling elite have failed woefully. As a matter of fact, the profit-first capitalist program and philosophy embraced by the successive governments stand in the way of viable and sustainable development of the country.
The real motive for the deregistration is the fact that the self-serving and corrupt bourgeois ruling elite want to dominate the political space (leaving it for only parties like APC and PDP) and deny the working masses of an alternative political party.
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) calls on the leadership of the labour movement and pro-masses’ organisations to defend democratic rights and therefore support the struggle to re-register the SPN and other political parties and allow the working people to form a party of their choice and also to truly elect leaders without rigging and violence. We also call on the leadership of the labour movement to build a pan-Nigerian working masses political party as a vehicle for the working class and the masses, in general, to challenge the self-serving ruling elite and defeat it in order to form and run a government in the interest of the vast majority
Acting National Chairperson