REGISTER SPN NOW
The matter the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has filed to challenge its non-registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) comes up on Wednesday November 19, 2014 at the Federal High Court Abuja at Court 5. The Suit No is FCH/ABJ/CS/630/2014.
We are praying the court to nullify the action of the INEC and order it to issue us our certification of registration having fulfilled all the legal and constitutional requirements, albeit onerous and undemocratic, for registration as a political party.
The requirements we have fulfilled include payment of non-refundable administrative fee of N1million (One Million Naira), National Headquarters in Abuja and National Executive Committee (NEC) with members from at least 24 states plus Abuja.
The INEC in a letter dated August 12, 2014, which is its response to the application of the SPN for registration as a political party, states that the SPN’s “registration is terminated” on the basis of the purported refusal of our association to allow for the verification of its claims.
The INEC apparently used the expression “registration is terminated” because it failed to process the application of SPN, which was submitted on June 12, 2014, within 30 days as stipulated by Section 78 (3 and 4) of Electoral Act 2010 as amended.
According to this provision of the Electoral Act INEC must process the application of a political association seeking to transform to a political party within 30 days of the receipt of such application. According to this law, unless INEC within the said 30 days informs the association that submitted the application to transform to a political party with reasons why it could not do so, that association has been deemed to be registered as a political party.
We accordingly wrote INEC on July 17 to demand our certificate. Instead of obliging the SPN request, INEC in a letter dated 31 July 2014 now wrote the SPN with information that it was sending a verification team to visit the proposed headquarters of our association on 4 August 2014.
The cited letter was delivered on the evening of August 1 2014 which was a Friday, while the visitation was fixed for the next working day which was Monday 4 August, 2014. The SPN in a letter dated 4 August, 2014 replied INEC letter dated 31 July 2014 stating that the period for processing of SPN application had elapsed but that the National Chairperson and National Secretary could make themselves available if need be for any clarification on SPN application for registration at another date. On the 4 August, 2014, five INEC officials visited the SPN secretariat in Abuja and during the visit took copious photographs of the entire premises within the office.
The foregoing is the background to the erroneous claim of the INEC that we did not submit ourselves for verification.
It is our contention that INEC has refused to register us despite fulfilling all the legally stipulated requirements because we are a party that represents the interest and aspiration of the working people and the poor as enshrined in the manifesto and constitution whose copies were submitted to INEC. The imposition of N1Million administrative fee in the first instance is calculated to prevent existence of pro-masses parties like the SPN that is formed to provide a working people alternative to the anti-poor neo-liberal capitalist program of pro-establishment parties.
The SPN is prepared to doggedly continue to utilise all legal, democratic and political means to agitate for the registration of SPN and ultimately the socialist transformation of Nigeria that would enable Nigeria’s abundant natural economic and human resources to be of primary benefit to the vast bulk of Nigerians.
Segun Sango Chinedu Bosah
National Chairperson National Secretary