The policy making organ of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will on Thursday meet to take a final decision on the application filed by the political parties merging to register as the ‘All Progressives Congress (APC)’, an official has said.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu said that his boss, Professor Attahiru Jega and the commissioners would meet as empowered by the law to take the decision.
It would be recalled that on June 12, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC); and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) submitted an interim application to INEC for the registration of APC.
Mr. Idowu said that the process of registration of the merger groups as APC was on going as there was no infringement of any provision of the law on the issue.
“The stipulated 30 days after the application for registration has not lapsed so the commission has not broken the law. As at today we are speaking the process is on, no law has been broken,” he said.
Already there have been speculations in some quarters that INEC is not favourably disposed to registering the APC following an ongoing court case filed by a rival group – African People’s Congress- that had sought registration, and denied by INEC, using the same acronym.
Leaders of the merger APC have voiced their frustration at the electoral body’s seeming delay of the registration, saying they would be deemed registered by the end of the week if INEC did not accept or outrightly reject their application for registration.
If registered, the APC, which already has 11 state governors and several other merging groups and parties as members, will be Nigeria’s largest opposition party.
On allowing independent candidate in the 2015 general elections, as being suggested in the ongoing constitution review exercise, Mr. Idowu said it was not yet a law.
He said that since it was not in the Electoral Law, INEC as political umpire, would not do anything that was unconstitutional.
“The law that we have now does not allow for independent candidates; it is not even on the radar, but if the law is amended to reflect participation of independent candidates, then it becomes a law,” he said.
He said that until that was done the commission did not have such plan in its 2015 agenda.