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INEC vows to appeal judgement on deregistration of parties

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Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday vowed to challenge judgment of Appeal Court over deregistration of some political parties.

Although the court upheld the power of INEC to deregister parties in line with section 225 of the constitution, it held that INEC needed to prove that it complied with the procedure outlined.

About two weeks ago, the same court had in the case of National Unity Party upheld and validated the power of INEC to deregister the parties.

In a statement issued by Festus Okoye, its spokesman, the commission said it will seek the verdict of the supreme court on the two conflicting judgements.

He said, “The Commission is 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.

“Consequently, the Commission will approach the Supreme Court for a final resolution of the issues raised in the two conflicting judgements.”

INEC further said it is focused on preparations for the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections scheduled to hold on September 19 and October 10 respectively.

There are concerns the elections are being threatened as the 22 deregistered political parties were not included as those to participate in the polls.

Court of Appeal in Abuja had on Monday reinstated 22 political parties de-registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Some of the parties reinstated by the Appeal court are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA).

Their de-registration was reversed on Monday in a judgment prepared and signed by the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem.

In a unanimous decision, the court declared as illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, the judgement of the Federal High Court upholding INEC’s action de-registering the political parties.

A four-man panel of judges led by Justice Sodipe Lokulo held that the de-registration was illegal because the due process was not followed.

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