The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that 18 out of 46 registered political parties are yet to constitute their National Executive Committee (NEC) as required by the law.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed this during the commission’s quarterly consultative meeting with national leaders of political parties on Wednesday in Abuja.
“I want to draw your attention to the certain issues. The constitution is very clear on the processes and conditions for registration that must be complied with.
“Section 223 of the constitution talks about the validity of the composition of the political parties NEC.
“Unfortunately, out of the 46 registered political parties, only 28 parties are in compliance. 18 political parties have not complied,’’
Yakubu also expressed INEC displeasure over failure of some political parties to have functional offices in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as stipulated in Section 222 of the constitution.
“As we speak today, only 29 political parties are in compliance while 17 political parties have not.
“So, we have 17 political parties that have no offices in FCT or their rents have expired which amounts to the same thing as not having an office in FCT,” he said.
Yakubu also disclosed that only five parties have complied with the Electoral Act compelling political parties to submit election campaign expenses since the end of the 2015 general elections.
“Parties are expected to submit to the Commission their election campaign expenses for the 2015 general elections but as we speak only five political parties are in compliance.
“While 24 other political parties did not comply, the case of 17 parties is understandable because they are registered after the general elections. But for parties that contested the general elections, only five complied.”
Yakubu also re-emphasised the commission’s warning to political parties who are already engaged in political campaigns ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“Although INEC has fixed a date for the general election, we are yet to release the time table for the election and the law is very clear on when electioneering and campaigns will commence.
“It remains 90 days to the election and must stop 24 hours to the actual casting of ballot.
“However, we have noticed that some people using the name of some political parties are already in campaign mood.’’
Yakubu advised political leaders to call their members to order since there is no provision for independent candidate for now.
“Since every candidate must be sponsored by a political party, we expect everybody to comply with electoral rules.
” Even though we haven’t heard any political party openly declare campaign for the 2019 general elections, you owe it a duty to call individuals using the names of your political parties for campaigns to please obey the laws.
“We expect all politicians and political parties to comply,” Yakubu added.
The chairman also disclosed that INEC would, latest by first week of November, take its decision on pending political associations requesting to be registered as political parties.
“As I speak with you, the Commission has over 108 political associations seeking fresh registration.
“We want to assure all the associations that the Commission will register those that met the legal requirements. They should take that for granted on the Commission.’’
The Chairman of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), Mallam Mohammadu Nalado, assured the Commission that all the political parties are committed to ensuring that Anambra governorship election is conducted in a free, fair and credible environment.
Nalado urged all voters in the state to come out and vote peacefully on the day of the election.(NAN)