A legal practitioner and constitutional lawyer, Mr Bolaji Ogungbemi, on Friday, disclosed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has constitutional flavour to deregister dormant political parties based on certain grounds.
Ogungbemi further stated that the Nigerian constitution delegates legal power on INEC whether to register a political party or not based on certain conditions and requirement.
The deregistration of 74 out of the 102 political parties in the country by INEC yesterday.Ninety-one political parties participated in the 2019 general elections, with 73 of them fielding presidential candidates.Many held the view that having over a hundred political parties makes the conduct of elections unwieldy.
INEC, presumably on this account, announced the deregistration of 74 out of the political parties, leaving only 28.
Some of the affected political have vowed to challenge their deregistration in court, contending that it was illegal.
Therefore INEC’s action was constitutional.
He pointed out Section 225A of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (with the First, Second, Third and Fourth Alterations), which empowered INEC to deregister political parties for various reasons.
That the constitution was amended in 2017 to empower INEC to deregister political parties but it was just being implemented now.
Section 225A states, “The Independent National Electoral Commission shall have power to de-register a political party for breach of any of the requirements for registration;
“Failure to win at least twenty-five percent of votes cast in one State of the Federation in a Presidential election or one Local Government of the State in a Governorship election;
“Failure to win at least one ward in the Chairmanship election, one seat in the National or State House of Assembly election or one seat in the Councillorship election.”
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