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DE-REGISTRATION OF PARTIES: INEC heads to S’Court to challenge A’Court ruling

Why we will not act on tribunal judgements now –INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it would challenge, at the Supreme Court, the ruling of the Court of Appeal that nullified its deregistration of some political parties.

The electoral body made the vow after receiving the Appeal Court ruling, ordering it to reinstate about 23 political parties out of the 74 that were deregistered in the country.

The body’s national commissioner and chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Earlier, report had claimed that the court nullified the deregistration of all the 74 political parties and ordered INEC to relist them.

However, Okoye said that a total of 23 of the parties were relisted by the four-man panel of the Appeal Court judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo.

Okoye frowned that the ruling came after the same court in an earlier judgment upheld its decision to de-register the political parties.

READ ALSO: Appeal court nullifies INEC’s deregistration of 22 political parties

He said, “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.

“The commission is, therefore, faced with two conflicting judgements from the Court of Appeal – one affirming the powers of the commission to deregister political parties and the other setting aside the deregistration of ACD & 22 others.

“Faced with two conflicting judgements from the same court, the commission is not in a position to pick and choose which one of them to obey.”

He, therefore, said that the electoral body would head to the Supreme Court to settle the issues raised in the two conflicting judgements once and for all.

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