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INEC REJECTS CHEKWAS OKORIE'S UPGA

By NBF News
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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rejected the application brought by Chief Chekwas Okorie, which is seeking to register the United Peoples Grand Alliance (UPGA) as a political party.

The commission, in a letter dated April 23 addressed to Okorie with reference No. INEC/DPPM&L/UPGA/428/143 and signed by the Secretary of the commission, Abudalahi Kaugama, listed three reasons why it would not register the association as a political party.

The letter, which was signed for and collected by Ogbote Charity, the secretary of the UPGA read: 'Please refer to your application for registration as a political party. You may recall that you proposed and accepted the verification of the proposed headquarters of your association on April 17, 2012 as part of the processing of your application.

Kaugama stated that, 'having concluded the legal and other reviews of the documents you submitted, the commission has established the following notations;

•The composition of your National Executive Committee (NEC) has failed to comply with the provisions of Section 223(1)(b)(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. •The membership of your association in Article 7(1)(c) of the Constitution of UPGA is restrictive contrary to the provisions of Section 222(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

•The explanation of your logo in Article 3 of your proposed Constitution as 'Early Morning Sun' has ethnic connotation due to its similarity to the logo of the defunct Biafra and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) thus suggesting the association is restricted to the eastern part of Nigeria contrary to Section 222(e) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

'While the proposed name of your association is not similar to that of any political party, its acronym UPGA is similar in pronouncement to the acronym of an existing political party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). This, in the opinion of the commission, offends Section 82(2)(c) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.' Kaugama declared that 'consequently the commission shall not register United Peoples Grand Alliance (UPGA) as a political party.'

The leadership of APGA had recently petitioned INEC urging it not to register UPGA as a political party because of the similarity of its name to APGA