A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to restore three political parties which it deregistered on December 5, 2012, saying the electoral body has no constitutional power to de-register any political party.
The three political parties which are the plaintiffs to the suit in which judgment was delivered on Thursday are the Peoples Redemption Party founded by a former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, the Peoples Progressive Party and the Better Nigeria Progressive Party.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola who ruled that the parties were deregistered without being given fair hearing by INEC, also declared as unconstitutional, invalid, null and void, the provisions of section 78(7)(ii) of the Electoral Act 2010 which the INEC relied on to deregister them.
Section 78(7) (ii) of the Electoral Act which confers the power on INEC to deregister a political party that fails any of presidential, governorship, national and state assembly election.
In voiding the section 78(7)(ii) of the Electoral Act on Thursday, Justice Ademola held that it was inconsistent with provisions of sections 1(3), 40 and 221 to 229 of the Constitution which guarantee the rights on Nigerian citizens freely join lawful assembly, trade unions and to belong to any political party of their choice. (Punch)