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Falana, Shobayo caution INEC against registration of new parties

[File] Femi Falana (SAN)

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) and a political scientist, Mr. Isaac Shobayo, have warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against registration of new political parties in view of the results of the just-concluded 2019 general elections.

Falana, in a statement yesterday, urged the commission to sanitise the political system by formulating new guidelines for the registration political parties within the ambit of the Constitution.

This, he said, should be done in view of the fact that no fewer than 100 political associations are said to have submitted applications for registration as political parties.

He also stressed that INEC had been conferred with enormous powers to de-register political parties that fail to meet the fresh constitutional prerequisites.

He said: “With respect to registered political parties, INEC must fully comply with Section 225 (2) of the Constitution by sanctioning them if they fail to submit a detailed yearly statement and analysis of their sources of funds and assets.

“This will go a long way to check the monetisation and brazen manipulation of the democratic process by political godfathers.

“More importantly, INEC should henceforth exercise its powers under Section 224 of the Constitution by ensuring that the programmes, as well as the aims and objectives of every political party, conform with the provisions of the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy enshrined in Chapter II of the Constitution.”

According to Shobayo, many voters in the country are not literate, explaining that even when the country had about four political parties, they still bungled the whole process not to talk of having to contend with about 91 political parties.

He, therefore, advised that it is better for the country to go back to two-party system.

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