by Solomon Osadolo
The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) is currently one of the opposition parties seeking to unite under one banner with a bid to wresting power away from the ruling PDP. Opposition parties say that the proposed merger would be formalised by June.
But if the ANPP isn’t careful, it might be not be a political party any more even before the merger. The Independent National Electoral Commission might de-register the party if it fails to satisfactorily explain why it is flouting the 1999 Constitution.
The INEC’s issue with ANPP seems to have risen from a technical matter concerning changes in the party constitution.
INEC’s chairman had in a letter dated January 28, 2013, signed by the INEC’s acting secretary and addressed to the ANPP National Chairman, Ogbonaya Onu, asked the party to show cause why it should remain to function as a political party having flouted section 222 of the 1999 Constitution.
Section 222 talks about restrictions on formation of political parties. The subsections which have to do with constitution are 222(c) and 222(d). They state that: “No association by whatever name called shall function as a party, unless –
“(c) a copy of its constitution is registered in the principal office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in such form as may be prescribed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“(d) any alteration in its registered constitution is also registered in the principal office of the Independent National Electoral Commission within thirty days of the making of such alteration.”