Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
The Federal High Court, Ibadan will tomorrow commence hearing in a suit between the National Democratic Party (NDP), Prince Ademola Ayoade, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation. The petitioners want the court to determine the status of NDP as a full-fledged political party in Nigeria.
The first and second claimants; NDP and Prince Ademola Ayoade, in the suit maintained that at no point was the party de-registered. They insisted that NDP remains a political party since its’ registration in June 2002 and issuance of Certificate of Registration on June 24, same year.
The claimants ,however, added that INEC failed to relate with it as a political party after its’ de-registration exercise on December 13, 2012, though NDP was not listed as such. Ayoade, is a member of the National Democratic Party (NDP), a former national financial secretary and national secretary of the party at various times.
The first claimant (NDP), in a written address stated that it has not enjoyed the rights and privileges of a political party overtime. It noted that despite the fact that the first defendant, INEC, did not mention NDP as one of the deregistered parties, INEC has failed to relate with the party as a political party.
NDP filed this suit when INEC did not respond to a letter it wrote on October 28, 2019, seeking to clarify this position.
The first claimant is seeking the declaration of the court in three reliefs: first; “declaration that the first claimant (NDP)have been registered since June 2002 and having been issued a certificate of registration on Monday 24 June 2002 is an extant political party in Nigeria, declaration that at no time did the first defendant (INEC) de-register the first claimant ,NDP as a political party in Nigeria” and “order asking the first defendant to accord the first claimant all rights as a political party in Nigeria.”