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BREAKING: Going, Going, Gone… 74 Parties’ Deregistration Confirmed By Supreme Court

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BEVERLY HILLS, May 07, (THEWILL) – The Supreme Court on Friday upheld an earlier judgement of the Court of Appeal that okayed the deregistration of the National Unity Party (NUP) and 73 others.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 2020 deregistered the political parties over their inability to win any election during the 2019 general elections.

In the judgement delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the Supreme Court,  said the deregistration of NUP, one of the 74 parties, was done in line with the laws and in compliance with the extant provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act.

With the judgement, the fate of the 74 political parties deregistered by INEC have been sealed.

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  Independent National Electoral Commission to deregister political parties.

Delivering the lead judgement 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 judgement of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had earlier in May confirmed the deregistration of NUP and 73 other political parties.

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 stated that they failed to meet the minimum requirement.

Reacting to the judgement, the President of the Inter-Party Advisory Council, Dr. Leonard Nzenwa, hailed the judgement and said the judgement had ended all speculations and this will aid INEC to now focus on critical issues in preparation for delivering credible, free and fair 2023 general elections.

After Justice Taiwo’s judgement on NUP in May, other judges of the Federal High Court in Abuja, have upheld the deregistration of almost 40 other affected parties.