INEC to appeals ruling invalidating de-registration of parties

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has pledged to appeal a Court of Appeal judgement ordering the commission to enlist 22 political parties that were deregistered.

INEC’s national commissioner and chairman of information and voter education, Mr. Festus Okoye, said in a statement that “faced with two conflicting judgments from the same court, the commission is not in a position to pick and choose which one of them to obey.”

A four-member panel led by the president of the Appeal Court, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, yesterday held that INEC had failed to give reasons to the parties on why they could no longer exist.

The judgment was on an appeal filed by the 22 political parties.

The parties were among the 74 de-registered on February 6 by INEC for not meeting necessary constitutional requirements.

However, Okoye said: “The INEC is in receipt of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, delivered on August 10, 2020 in an appeal filed by ACD and 22 others relating to their deregistration by the commission.

“In the judgement, the Court of Appeal held that the de- registration of ACD & 22 others is ultra vires the powers of the Commission and ordered the Commission to reinstate them.

“We recall that on July 29, 2020, the Court of Appeal, Abuja Judicial Division in an appeal filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) affirmed the power of the Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties that fail to meet the constitutional threshold in section 225A. Dissatisfied with the judgment the National Unity Party lodged an appeal which is presently pending before the Supreme Court.”

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