The Supreme Court has affirmed the Independent National Electoral Commission’s power to deregister 22 political parties.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on February 06, 2020 de-registered 74 parties for “failing to meet the criteria provided for by section 225(a), (b) & (c) of the 1999 constitution (as amended)”.
The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu said the affected parties failed to meet the criteria provided for by section 225A of the 1999 CFRN (as amended):
“The Independent National Electoral Commission shall have power to deregister a political party for: “breach of any of the requirements for registration as a party, failure to win 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, and failure to win at least one ward in a Chairmanship election, one seat in the national or state assembly election or one seat in a councilorship election”.
He said that similarly, following the conclusion of the 2019 general election, including court-ordered re-run elections arising from litigations, the commission was able to determine the performance of political parties in the elections. He stressed that the parties were also assessed on the basis of their performance in the Area Council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) the only Local Government elections which INEC was empowered to conduct.
Aggrieved by INEC’s decision, 22 of the deregistered 74 political parties approached the Court. However, Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court agreed with INEC and dismissed the suit on the grounds that they failed to prove their case.
The appellate court in August 2020, citing Section 40 of the 1999 CFRN reversed the decision of the Court below, insisting that INEC ignored due process.
Consequently, the court ordered that the appellants should be listed as political parties in the country.
It is the decision of the Court of Appeal that INEC appealed at the Supreme Court, in an appeal marked: SC/485/2020.
Names of the 22 Political Parties
Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD)
Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP)
All Blending Party (ABP)
All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP)
Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD)
Change Advocacy Party (CAP)
Democratic People’s Congress (DPC)
Green Party of Nigeria (GPN)
Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN)
Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN)
New Generation Party of Nigeria (NGPA)
Nigeria For Democracy (NFD)
Peoples Coalition Party (PCP)
Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA)
People for Democratic Change (PDC)
Young Democratic Party (YDP)
Re-Build Nigeria Party (RBNP)
Save Nigeria Congress (SNC)
Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN)
United Democratic Party (UDP)
United Patriots (UP)
We The People of Nigeria (WTPN)