Abuja Court Affirms INEC’s Power To Deregister Political Parties

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has affirmed the power of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties which failed to comply with the provisions of the law particularly section 225[a] of the 1999 constitution as amended.

In a judgment delivered on Thursday by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, the court insists that the constitutional power of the electoral commission and the reasons given by the commission for the deregistration of some political parties are valid; in conformity with the law and sacrosanct

The court added that the constitutional power of INEC could not be affected by the fact of anticipated local government elections by some states which dates have not been fixed, certain or even ascertainable.

Justice Taiwo held that the de-registration of National Unity Party (NUP) as a political party in Nigeria was lawfully done in exercise of vested constitutional powers of the commission and in accordance with section 225[a] of the 1999 constitution.
The court further held that the party failed to show that the exercise of the commission’s powers to de-register it was at variance with the law and also ultra vires.

Justice Taiwo, in the judgment dismissed the argument of NUP which is the same legal argument by the 74 de-registered parties that until all local govt elections in the country are held instead of only FCT local elections that the electoral umpire cannot de-register them.

With the judgment of the court, only 18 political parties will be participating in the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections scheduled to hold on September 19 and October 10, 2020.

NUP, one of the 74 parties de-registered by the INEC, had earlier in a suit filed on February 24, 2020, prayed the court to declare that INEC had no power under section 225A of the constitution to de-register it as a political party.

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