- Dismisses 2 staff, retires another over double registration by Kogi Gov Bello
- May prosecute him after leaving office
By Lateef Ibrahim
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has approved the registration of twenty-one new political parties in the country, thus bringing the total number of registered parties in Nigeria to sixty-seven.
The Commission has also summarily dismissed two of its staff, as well as ordered the immediate and compulsory retirement of an Electoral Officer for acts of gross misconduct in respect of the alleged double registration offence against the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
These were part of the decisions taken by the commission at its usual weekly meeting yesterday in Abuja.
The Commission, in a statement signed by Mrs. May Agbmuche-Mbu, National Commissioner and member, Information and Voter Education Committee, confirmed that decisions were taken on the registration of new political parties, the findings on the allegation of double registration by the Governor of Kogi State and the outstanding Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election.
The Commission’s statement gave the names and acronyms of the newly registered parties as: All Blending Party, ABP, All Grassroots Alliance, AGA, Alliance for New Nigeria, ANN, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party , ANRP, Coalition for Change , C4C, Freedom and Justice Party, FJP, Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria, GDPN, Justice Must Prevail Party, JMPP, Legacy Party of Nigeria, LPN, Mass Action Joint Alliance, MAJA and Modern Democratic Party, MDP.
Others are: National Interest Party, NIP, National Rescue Mission, NRM, New Progressive Movement, NPM, Nigeria Democratic Congress Party, NDCP, People’s Alliance for National Development and Liberty, PANDEL, People’s Trust, PT, Providence People’s Congress, PPC, Re-Build Nigeria Party, RBNP, Restoration Party of Nigeria, RPN and Sustainable National Party, SNP.
The Commission explained that the registered political associations have fulfilled the Constitutional requirements for registration as political parties. “With this development, the total number of registered political parties in Nigeria is now 67,” the statement said.
On the findings on the Kogi state governor’s double registration, INEC said, “Following reports of the alleged double registration by the Governor of Kogi State in the on-going Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise, the Commission set up a panel of investigation into the involvement of staff in the matter.The initial report submitted by the panel was referred to the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee, which made recommendations to the Commission.
“While the Governor of Kogi State currently enjoys immunity from prosecution, the Commission took the following decisions in respect of its own staff: (a) Summary dismissal of two staff for acts of gross misconduct. (b) Immediate and compulsory retirement of an Electoral Officer for act of gross misconduct.”
Commenting on the issue of Anambra Central Senatorial re-run election, the INEC stated, “It will be recalled that following the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the Commission announced that the outstanding election to fill the vacant seat for the Anambra Central Senatorial District would take place on 13th January 2018.
“However, the attention of the Commission has been drawn to the judgment of the Federal High Abuja on the issue, delivered on 13th December 2017. The Commission has applied for the Certified True Copy of the judgment to enable us take a decision.”