Court okays de-registration of five parties

Five groups lost the bid to overturn their deregistration on Friday as political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

A Federal High Court in Abuja dismissed their suit to that effect.

Justice Anwuri Chikere, in a judgment on the suit marked: FHC/CS/127/2020, upheld the argument by INEC’s lawyer, Sulayman Ibrahim to the effect the electoral umpire acted within its powers in de-registering the parties.

The de-registered parties are: the Nigeria Community Movement Party (NCMP); Liberation Movement (LM); the United People’s Congress (UPC); the Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) and the Movement for Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD).

Justice Chikere held INEC justifiably de-registered the parties for being in breach of Section 225A of the Constitution (as amended by the 4th Alteration Act No.9 of 2017).

As against the argument by the plaintiffs, Justice Chikere held that the grounds provided in Section 225 (a), (b) and (c) of the Constitution are to be interpreted disjunctively.

She further held the plaintiffs failed to prove their claim that they were unlawfully de3egistered and proceeded to dismiss the suit.

The five de-registered parties had, by the suit, challenged INEC’s decision to cancel their registration and prayed the court to, among others, void the commission’s decision.

They argued that INEC acted outside its powers and violated their rights by de-registering them when the 2019 general elections, the off-season elections in Edo, Ondo and Anambra states were not yet held.

The plaintiffs claimed that INEC did not give them ample opportunity to exhaust their rights to participate in the 2019 general elections and the pending Local Government Area elections in the 774 LGAs.

They contended that provisions in Section 225 (a), (b) and (c) of the Constitution are to be construed conjuntively while INEC argued that the said provisions are to be construed disjunctively.




Source: thenationonlineng.net