Just yesterday, 21 new political parties were presented certificates by the Independent National Electoral Commission, but they stand the risk of sanctions if they fail to comply with Electoral Act.
The warning was not just for newly registered but for all parties that have registered with the electoral umpire.
According to Prof. Antonia Simbine, the INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Elections and Party Monitoring Committee, 17 out of the 46 registered political parties still do no have functional offices in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as at August 2017.
Simbine added: “Additionally, about 18 of the then 46 registered political parties had invalid National Executive Committees whose tenures had expired and/or where not reflective of the Federal Character of Nigeria as required by the constitution.
“The commission had, in November 2017, formally advised the affected political parties on their respective areas of breach and provided a 90-day period within which the parties are expected to revert to full compliance status.
“It is, therefore, very important that you, as newly registered political parties, put in place mechanism for ensuring compliance with relevant laws governing your existence as political parties.
“It is only by being law-abiding that parties can seek to capture power and govern according to the laws of the land.” On his part, INEC chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, noted that in compliance with the judgment of the Federal High Court, the commission had registered the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN.
He said: “We have already issued the Certificate of Registration to the SPN. The number of new political parties has risen to 22 in addition to the 46 parties already in existence. This means that the total number of political parties in Nigeria today stands at 68.
“Since the registration of the 21 new political parties, the commission has received more applications from associations seeking registration as political parties. At the moment, 90 applications are under consideration by the commission.
“Of this number, 61 associations have failed the initial assessment of their proposed names, logos or acronyms and have been notified. 25 associations that passed initial assessment have been advised to proceed to the next stage of the registration process.
“Four associations are undergoing preliminary assessments of the suitability of their proposed names, logos and acronyms. I wish to assure all associations that the commission will continue to treat each application fairly and on its merit, consistent with the provisions of the law.”