There was division among members of the House of Representatives on Thursday over a bill seeking to urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties in the country. Those listed for deregistration are political parties who failed to win at least one seat in the National Assembly or a State House of Assembly in the last general elections.
While some of the lawmakers questioned the powers of INEC to deregister the political parties, others were of the opinion that it was necessary to investigate whether or not such powers existed. They also stressed the need to ascertain why the electoral body has yet to deregister the political parties in line with the provisions of the Electoral Act. Mr Francis Uduyok from Akwa Ibom moved the motion calling on INEC to implement Section 78(7, ii) of the Electoral Act.
In the absence of the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, presided over the final plenary for the week. After the motion was moved, the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, raised a point of order on the powers of the electoral body to which the deputy speaker agreed. However, another lawmaker Mr Toby Okechukwu (Enugu) raised a counter-point of order, but Mr Wase disagreed him.
This led to the division among members of House while the motion was eventually stepped down.