The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been dragged to a Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged unlawful registration of two prohibited political parties-Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) to participate in the 2015 general elections.
A pro-democracy activist, Mr. Richard Akinola who instituted the legal action is asking the court to nullify the purported registration granted the two parties on account of having been proscribed and dissolved by existing laws.
In the originating summon filed by Mr. James Ode Abah of Bamidele Aturu chambers, the plaintiff claimed that UPN and SDP were outlawed out of existence by the Political Parties Dissolution Decrees of 1984 and 1993 respectively.
The pro-democracy activist among others, is asking the court to determine whether INEC has power to resuscitate prohibited and dissolved parties without first repealing the laws that proscribed them.
He also wants the court to determine whether political parties dissolved or prohibited by an existing law from acting as political parties can function or act as parties without the repeal of the law that proscribed them.
The plaintiff who joined UPN and SDP as co-defendants in the suit is claiming against them declarations that having been duly dissolved by virtue of existing laws of 1984 and 1993 are no longer political parties in the country and cannot function as such.
He also applied for court declaration that INEC as the first defendant in his legal action cannot validly or lawfully register the two parties in the face of the existing laws that legally dissolved them.
The pro-democracy activist sought for the court order compelling INEC to de-register the two parties and its agents, officers, servants and privies by whosoever from recognizing or treating UPN and SDP as political parties in the country.
An order of perpetual injunction to stop the two parties, their agents, officers, servants and privies from acting, functioning or parading themselves as political parties in the country was also sought by the plaintiff.
In a 10-point affidavit in support of the legal action, the plaintiff claimed to be a journalist of 32 years standing, human rights and pro-democracy activist, tax payer and author of several books on law and the media.
He averred that he was not yet a member of any political party and that he had gone through the list of political parties registered by INEC and its website in order to make an informed decision on which party to join when ready to do so and found that UPN and SDP have been registered.
The pro-democracy activist also averred that he read in the Punch newspaper of April 26, 2014 news that INEC had on April 25, 2014 registered UPN as a political party to canvass for votes.
The plaintiff claimed that his attention was drawn to the Political Parties Dissolution Decrees of December 31, 1983 and November 18, 1993 promulgated to dissolve UPN and SDP respectively in the country.
To the best of his knowledge, the human rights activist averred that the two Decrees have not been repealed by the National Assembly and asked the court to make pronouncement to guide him against belonging to un-registered or illegal association in either UPN or SDP.
No date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.