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5 May 2017
On Thursday 4 May 2017, the matter (FCH/ABJ/CS/630/2014) between the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) finally came up for hearing at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.
The SPN filed the case on September 10 2014 to challenge the INEC's refusal to issue it a certificate of registration after fulfilling all lawful requirements for registration as a political party.
Thursday's hearing, which marks a new stage in the matter since it was filed about 3 years ago, came after INEC had wasted the time of the court for over one year while claiming it wanted to settle out of court with us.
After hearing the argument of the SPN's lawyer, the court adjourned the matter till 6 June 2017 for the respondent (INEC) argument. Hopefully judgment would not be long in coming.
This matter has lasted a total of two years and eight months without any real headway! Thursday's hearing makes it the 16th time the matter has been adjourned. During all these 16 adjournments, the matter only came up for mention 6 times! Aside from the machinations of INEC to frustrate us by wasting the time of the court for over one year through an out-of-court settlement process it was never committed to, the slow pace of the matter is equally attributable to the nature of the judiciary which is primed to make it harder for the poor to ever get justice.
The significance of our grouse with INEC is that having met all lawful requirements for registration, there is no reason for the continuous withholding of our certificate of registration. As this matter continues to drag, it has become quite clear that INEC is serving the interest of the capitalist ruling elite who enormously fear the prospect of working and toiling people organizing in a political party to oust them from their corrupt rule. However no matter how long it takes, we are resolved not to relent.