The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it does not have business with any of the 74 political parties it earlier deregistered.
The election umpire made this clarification on Friday as the status of the parties remains invalid pending a final decision by the supreme court.
The commission had deregistered 74 political parties after citing their failure to meet certain criteria listed in the constitution including winning at least 25 per cent of the votes cast in one state in a presidential election or 25 per cent of the votes cast in one local government area.
Apparently no satisfied, some of them went to court to contest the commission’s decision.
However, 22 of the 74 deregistered parties were let off the hook in August, following a court of appeal ruling which said they were illegally deregistered.
This was after the same court earlier validated the power of INEC to deregister the parties while determining a case involving the National Unity Party (NUP).
Both the commission and the NUP headed to the supreme court in separate applications challenging the court judgements.
Festus Okoye, INEC spokesman, said in a statement that while the final verdict is being awaited, some of the parties deregistered have been writing the commission to inform it of their plans to conduct primary elections.
“The Commission will continue to recognize and deal with only the 18 registered political parties pending the final resolution and determination of the various appeals filed and pending before the Supreme Court,” Okoye said.
“Consequently, INEC will not monitor any purported primaries by any of the deregistered political parties and will not issue access code to or accept the list and particulars of candidates emanating from such primaries.”
He noted the conflicting judgements of the court of appeal and said it is “in the interest of the electoral process” for both matters to be consolidated before any action is taken.
“The electoral process will be better served through a final resolution of the issues in the deregistration of political parties. It will also enable the commission to stand on firm grounds rather than pick and choose which between two conflicting decisions it should obey,” Okoye said.