22 July 2020 by VICTORIA ABAH
Justice Evelyn Maha of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has re-emphasized that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has powers to deregister political parties.
Justice Maha gave the ruling while delivering judgment in two separate suits filed by the Reform And Advancement Party and Democratic Peoples Party, challenging their deregistration by INEC.
Dismissing the suits, the court held that Section 225(a) of the constitution gives INEC the powers to deregister parties that failed to comply with the provisions of the constitution.
According to the judge, the parties were unable to provide sufficient facts to support their claims while stating that where a provision of the law is unambiguous, it ought to be given its simple interpretation, hence, Section 225(a) of Constitution is clear and unambiguous and should be interpreted in support of the deregisteration.
Counsel to INEC, Abdulazeez Sani applauded the court for its well considered judgement.
Also addressing newsmen, Counsel to the two political parties, Kingdom Okere and Samuel Nnok-Nduv expressed displeasure over the verdict and vowed challange the judgment on appeal.
It would be noted that on February 6, 2020, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, deregistered 74 political parties on the grounds of poor performance at the 2019 general elections.