By Lilian Ogbonna – (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – The Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), has powers to deregister political parties, according to a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who made the submission on Friday, June 5, 2020, while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Hope Democratic Party against the electoral umpire.
According to Taiwo, the Constitution empowered INEC to deregister parties that failed to meet the provisions of Section 225(a).
HDP had instituted a suit praying the court to declare that INEC had no powers to deregister it as a political party, outside the ambits of the law, requesting that INEC be compelled to relist it as a political party, a plea Justice Taiwo said fell short of Section 225(a), coupled with the fact it was unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that INEC’s action was illegal.
Affirming the constitutional power of INEC, Justice Taiwo submitted that the reasons given by the commission for the deregistration of parties were valid, and in agreement with the letters of the law, and inviolable.
Hope Democratic Party was one of the 74 parties deregistered by the INEC in February.