By Williams Anuku, Abuja
The hopes of the 74 political parties deregistered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for their failures to win any election after the 2019 general election has been permanently dashed by the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court in a judgment delivered on Friday noted that the deregistration of the National Unity Party (NUP) one of the 74 parties, was done in line with the laws and compliance with the extant provisions of the Constitution and Electoral Act.
The judgment was delivered by a 7 man panels headed by Justice Chima Nweze.
By upholding the deregistration of the NUP, the apex Court in a virtual judgment sealed the fate of the remaining 73 Parties many of whom have their appeals still pending in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
The NUP had challenged their deregistration by INEC at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal where they lost in both Courts and the Supreme Court has by affirming the concurrent finding of the lower courts upheld not only the powers of INEC to deregister political parties but also that the process and procedure for the deregistration of the 74 political parties was in compliance with extant laws.
Reacting to the judgment, the President of the Inter Party Advisory Council Dr. Leonard Nzenwa hailed the judgment and said the judgment had ended all speculations and this will aid INEC to now focus on critical issues in preparation for delivering credible, free and fair 2023 general election.
Also speaking, the Council of Nigerian Ethnic Youth Leaders called on the National Assembly to quickly amend the Constitution and Electoral Act to stop further registration of more political parties saying the 18 remaining parties should be enough to satisfy all political tendencies in the country.