• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Supreme Court upholds INEC’s deregistration of 22 political parties [FULL LIST]

The new task before INEC

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the de-registration of 22 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to Premium Times, the parties were among the 74 scrapped in 2020 by INEC following their dismal performances in previous elections.

Respondents in the appeal are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and INEC.

The parties are the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), All Blending Party (ABP), All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP), Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD), Change Advocacy Party (CAP), Democratic People’s Congress (DPC), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN) and Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN).

Others are New Generation Party of Nigeria (NGPA), Nigeria For Democracy (NFD), Peoples Coalition Party (PCP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), People for Democratic Change (PDC), Young Democratic Party (YDP), Re-Build Nigeria Party (RBNP), Save Nigeria Congress (SNC), Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), United Democratic Party (UDP), United Patriots (UP) and We The People of Nigeria (WTPN).

Read also: 2023: INEC lists multiple registration, increased IDPs as challenges

The parties had won at the Court of Appeal, which reversed their deregistration and ordered INEC to restore their registration. INEC had further appealed to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment.

Delivering judgment on INEC’s appeal on Friday, a member of the Supreme Court’s panel, Ejembi Eko, voided and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja division which had nullified the de-registration.

Eko held that the appeal court on its own raised the issue of lack of fair hearing in favour of the 22 scrapped parties and arrived at a conclusion without hearing from other parties in the matter.

“This appeal by INEC is meritorious and is hereby allowed. The decision of the court below is set aside,”Eko said.

The court held that the Court of Appeal took the issue of fair hearing out of the context of the notice of appeal filed by the political parties, and refused to do the needful in order to be fair to others in the matter.

It said that the Court of Appeal erred in law by raising the issue of fair hearing in favour of the political parties suo motu and declined to give opportunity to other respondents to address it on the matter in order to arrive at a just conclusion.