Barely 24 hours to the Bauchi State local government election, the Federal High sitting in Bauchi has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the State Independent Electoral Commission (BASIEC) to include 19 deregistered political parties for participation in Saturday’s council poll.
The plaintiffs had filed a suit challenging the decision of the INEC and BASIEC to expunge the parties from participating in the election. In a court ruling cited by The Guardian, a judgement had been passed by Justice M.B. Dongban-Mensem and four others in the Appeal Court on August 13 to reinstate the parties.
The justices had argued that since the second respondent (BASIEC) admitted that the political parties were registered parties and could not justify their reasons for deregistration, the parties should be reinstated.
Twenty-two political parties that were deregistered by INEC for inability to win an elective office during the 2019 general elections had obtained the order of reinstatement at the Court of Appeals, Abuja but accused the electoral umpires of snubbing the order.
The parties leaders, while addressing journalists in Bauchi recently said, despite securing a court order which was served to INEC and BASIEC, they are yet to be included on the ballot papers for the upcoming local government election and Dass LGA by-election.
Chairman of Young Democratic Party, (YDP), Ahmed Tijjani Aminu, who spoke on behalf of other 21 parties said, “Time is running out on BASIEC and INEC, the end result would lead to court actions, we honestly believe that the consequences of refusing to include our parties’ names and logos may lead to nullification of the entire process as in the case of recent judgement of Bayelsa state governorship election.”
However, the Federal High Court in the State on Thursday affirmed the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja. The presiding Judge, Hassan Dikko said, “I hereby grant leave of mandamus to compel the respondents to comply with the judgement of the Court of Appeal in Abuja in suit number: CA/ABJ/CV/507/2020 enrolled on 19th day of August 2020.”
Dikko ordered that the copy of the judgement to the respondents in their various addresses and fixed November 2, 2020, for the hearing of the case.