A Federal High Court presided over by Justice Anwuli Chikere has restrained Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering 31 political parties.
The Commission I on February 6 deregistered 74 political parties including those that presented Reverend Chris Okotie,Oby Ezekwesili, retired Major Hamza al-Mustapha as their presidential candidates during the 2019 presidential election.
Ezekwesili who contested for the office of the presidency under the ACPN on January 24, 2019, stepped down from the presidential race owing to divergence of values and visions within her political party.
However, Justice Chikere, in her ruling in Abuja on Monday, said having failed to counter the application by the applicants, the affected political parties had the legal right which must be protected.
In an interlocutory motion between Advanced Congress of Democratic (ACD) and two others Vs. Attorney General of the Federation and another, the applicants had on October 30, 2019, approached the court.
The electoral commission had said the deregistered party did not satisfy the requirements of the fourth alteration to the constitution.
INEC added that the Action Peoples Party filed a suit in court and obtained an order restraining the commission from deregistering it, “consequently, the party remains registered pending the determination of the case by the court.”
INEC explained that, it has power to deregister a political party for breach of any of the requirements for registration.
INEC also noted that the deregistered parities failed to win at least 25 per cent of votes cast in, one state of the federation in a presidential election or one local government of a state in a governorship election.
The commission further added that the deregistered parties also failed one seat one ward in the chairmanship election; one seat in the National or state house of Assembly election; or one seat in a councillorship election.