Supreme court affirms deregistration of 74 political parties

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The supreme court has affirmed the de-registration of 74 political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At its sitting on Friday, the court upheld an earlier judgement of the court of appeal, which stated that INEC’s action was in order.

A seven-man panel of the apex court led by Chima Nweze held that the deregistration was done in compliance with the extant provisions of the constitution and electoral act.

INEC had deregistered the parties in February 2020 after citing their failure to meet certain criteria listed in the constitution.

Some of the criteria they failed to meet included winning at least 25 percent of the votes cast in one state in a presidential election or 25 percent of the votes cast in one local government area.

However, some of the parties went to court to contest the commission’s action.

In August, the court of appeal sitting in Abuja said 22 of the parties were illegally deregistered.

This was after the same court earlier validated the power of INEC to deregister the parties while determining a case involving the National Unity Party (NUP).

Amid the confusion, both the commission and the NUP headed to the supreme court in separate applications challenging the court judgements.

With the verdict of the apex court, the number of political parties in Nigeria remains 18.

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