…The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ruled that 22 political parties deregistered by INEC should be listed henceforth as functional parties
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reversed the deregistration of 22 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In a sitting of the panel of the Court of Appeal on Monday, led by Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the ruling was agreed in affirming that INEC snubbed due process in carrying out orders under Section 225(a) of the Constitution (as amended).
The parties are affected with the earlier decisions of the INEC but at advantaged by the judgment of the appeal court are: 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).
The political parties in 2019 had sued the INEC over its warning of plan to de-register parties, as contained in the 4th Alteration Act, which President Muhammadu Buhari assented to in 2018.
In the judgment, the court stated that the nation’s electoral agency failed to inform the parties why they could no longer operate.
The Court of Appeal also explained that the de-registration of the parties was unlawful because INEC failed to conform to due process of law.
The court went further to clarify that Section 40 of the Constitution permits citizens to the freedom of association, thereby, the right convened on a political party cannot be ridden off except in agreement with the provisions of the law and due process.
In the ruling, the Court of Appeal proceeded to set aside the June 11, 2020 judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja and judged that the appellants should henceforth be recorded as political parties in the country.