Court restrains INEC from deregistering political parties
The Federal High Court in Abuja Monday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering 31 political parties.
Justice Anwuli Chikere gave the order at the hearing of a suit by some of the parties recently deregistered by INEC.
The judge, in her ruling, said INEC failed to counter the application by the applicants whose rights must be protected.
INEC on Thursday, February 6 deregistered 74 political parties from participating in subsequent elections in Nigeria.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu made the announcement at a press conference in Abuja.
Yakubu said the parties failed to meet constitutional requirements that determine the continuous existence of political parties in the country.
INEC said the deregistered parties breached their requirements for registration because they failed to win at least 2596 of votes cast in one State of the federation during the Presidential election.
INEC also said the parties, since their existence, did not win one local government of a state in a governorship election.
The deregistered parties, according to INEC also failed to win at least one ward in the chairmanship elections in local governments.
Some also failed to win one seat in the National or State House of Assembly election or one seat In a Councillorshlp election since they were registered.
Section 225A of Nigeria’s constitution empowers INEC to register and deregister political parties in the country.
Before deregistration of the 74 parties, Nigeria had 90 political parties qualified to contest elections.
With the deregistration, Nigeria’s political parties were reduced to 16.
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