Supreme Court Upholds Deregistration of 74 Political Parties

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has affirmed the judgement of the Court of Appeal which upheld the deregistration of the National Unity Party and others.

INEC had last year deregistered the parties over failure to win any election during the 2019 general election.

In the judgement, delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the apex court said the de-registration of NUP and 73 other parties, was done in line with the law and compliance with the extant provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act.

In the appeal before the apex court, NUP challenged their deregistration by INEC at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal.

The Abuja Division of the Appeal Court had on July 29, 2020, affirmed the powers of the National Independent National Electoral Commission to deregister political parties.

Delivering the lead judgment of a panel of the court, Justice Mohammed Idris, held that INEC did not err in law in the deregistration of the National Unity Party, which filed the appeal.

The court upheld the judgment of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had earlier in May 2020 nullified the deregistration of NUP and 73 other political parties for being in breach of section 225(a)of the Nigeria Constitution.

The said constitutional provision spells out the minimum election victory a party must record or percentage of votes it must poll to sustain its status as a registered political party.

INEC, in deregistering the affected 74 political parties in February 2020 stated that they failed to meet the minimum requirement to enable them to remain in existence.

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