A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has reaffirmed the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to deregister political parties.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo stated while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Hope Democratic Party against the electoral umpire insisted that INEC was empowered by the Constitution to deregister parties that failed to meet the provisions of Section 225(a).
The HDP had filed the suit, asking the court to declare that INEC cannot deregister it as a political party except in accordance with the law.
It also prayed the court for an order mandating the electoral body to relist it as a political party in the country.
In a judgment delivered in the suit filed by another political group – the National Unity Party, the judge affirmed the constitutional power of the electoral commission.
He also held that the reasons given by the commission for the deregistration of parties were valid, in conformity with the law, and sacrosanct.
Justice Taiwo emphasised that such reasons could not be affected by the fact of anticipated local government elections by some states which dates were not fixed, certain, or even ascertainable.
The National Unity Party is one of the 74 parties deregistered by INEC in February.