by Paul Osas
The embattled yet-to-be-registered African People’s Congress (APC), yesterday described the new All Progressive Congress (APC) as “illegally registered” and vowed not to give up its quest to challenge the legality of the new party’s abbreviation.
The rival APC National Chairman, Chief Onyinye Ikeagwuonu, made this known on Thursday while addressing journalists at the party headquarters.
Challenging the merger APC registration using the APC acronym, Ikeagwuonu said “Note here, that at the time INEC registered the merger APC, the acronym APC was not available and up till now, it is still not available as we, the original owners, are still pursuing the last phase of our registration with the ongoing judicial review which the court will soon rule.”
He added that, “As long as our case is in court, the acronym APC is not yet available as the process of registration which ends with a judicial review is still ongoing. Nigerians must note that INEC fully acknowledged that we were the first to apply with the name APC and are fully in court with us over our move to upturn the decision to deny us registration.”
Ikeagwonu said the decision of INEC to recognise the party was an affront to the ongoing legal action it instituted and vowed to see that his party secure registration at the expense of the merging parties. He maintained that the registration of the merger group’s party did not take away the legal right his association has over the APC abbreviation, adding that “we were the first to apply with the name and we are in court seeking to reverse the injustice done to us.”
He accused INEC of double standards as he called on the EFCC and ICPC to investigate.
“We have heard how billionaires have suddenly emerged in the last few days in the many backhand deals that were unleashed to get the merger APC illegally registered. Many INEC top shots have compromised the rule of law. The bazaar that was done with Lagos taxpayers’ fund in INEC in the last few days has dented the image and capacity of INEC to lead Nigeria to a transparent election.
“We urge the EFCC and ICPC to immediately investigate top INEC directors and commissioners to unearth the financial scam which led to this heinous assault on the rule of law. And we wish to state that Jega and his leadership should be held responsible and probed, if their irresponsibility torpedoes the 2015 general election in Nigeria. INEC is sufficiently aware of the fact that the African People’s Congress is legitimately pursuing a judicial review of the commission’s decision to reject its application for registration in the court of law,” he said.