By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on Wednesday alerted that Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, (OYSIEC) is out to exclude the party from participating in the planned May 15 local government election in the state.
SPN raised the alarm in a letter addressed to the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission, (OYSIEC ) Chairman allegedly that the commission of “continued refusal to recognise” the party as one of the registered political parties qualified for the 15th May, 2021 local government polls.
The party in the letter dated April 7, SPN declared that OYSIEC action of subsisting judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in APPEAL NO. CA/ABJ/ CV/ 507/ 2020, ACD & 21 others AND the Attorney General of the Federation & INEC ” was illegal.
“We of the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State Chapter write to officially notify the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) of our displeasure over the Commission’s continued refusal to recognise our Party as one of registered political parties qualified to participate in the local government elections scheduled to hold on the 15th May, 2021” , it said.
The party added, “worthy to note that the need for this letter was partly provoked by a recent media report where in a meeting held with some political parties you were quoted calling on political parties to intensify efforts in their preparation for the scheduled local government elections”
SPN stressed that the call by OYSIEC stands ” as an act of hypocrisy especially when a registered political party like ours that is ready for an active participation in the elections remains deliberately excluded by the same OYSIEC”.
” Notwithstanding the seeming hostility”, it is ready to participate in the election.We equally consider it very important to bring to the notice of the Commission, the subsisting judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja in APPEAL NO. CA/ ABJ/ CV/ 507/ 2020, ACD & 21 others AND the Attorney General of the Federation & INEC wherein the purported and illegal deregistration of our Party, SPN was nullified by the Full Panel of the Court of Appeal led by the President, Hon Justice M. B Dongban Mensem.
It stressed that the party ” note that the above judgement cannot be stayed, and indeed has not been stayed and as we write, the INEC has no valid appeal against the judgement at the Supreme Court. Even if it has, appeal in law does not operate as a stay of execution of a subsisting judgement”
” The implication therefore is that SPN is a registered political party until the Supreme Court decides otherwise. Given this background, we hereby urge the Commission to comply with the Appeal Court judgement and furnish us with all the necessary information and documents that will facilitate our participation and preparation for the scheduled local government elections.”
OYSIEC Chairman Barrister Isiaka Abiola Olagunju while responding to the allegations by SPN disclosed that the list of registered political parties to contest elections in the state was collected from the Independent National Electoral Commission, ( INEC ),
Barrister Olagunju said, ” the duty of INEC is to conduct election in Nigeria. OYSIEC is to conduct election in Oyo State.”.
” We are not the one that register political parties. It is the duty of INEC to register political parties. When we came on board, INEC gave us 18 names and SPN is not there. I have not set my eyes on the court document they are referring to. They can come so that we an resolve the matter amicably. We are not interested to exclude any political parties. What we want is that an all inclusive election.”ENDS.