It was gloomy face at the Federal High Court Abuja on Thursday for Chairmen and supporters of 34 political parties as the Court, for the third time running, has reaffirmed the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister political parties which do not meet the provisions of Section 222A of the 1999 Constitution.
In the judgment just delivered by Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja in a joint Suit by 34 of the deregistered political parties, upheld the Constitutional powers of INEC to deregister the Parties.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had in two separate judgments also upheld the same powers of INEC.
Justice Taiwo had affirmed the deregistration of the National Unity Party and the Hope Democratic Party by the electoral Commission.
Justice Chikere held that the Parties failed to state sufficient facts to support their claims while stating that where a provision of the law is unambiguous it ought to be given its simple interpretation hence Section 225A of Constitution is clear and unambiguous and should be interpreted in support of the deregistration done by INEC. The Court also vacated the earlier injunction granted them and dismissed their Suit in its entirety.
With this judgment it now brings the total to 36, the number of political parties that have had their deregistration affirmed by the Court.
This is a devastating blow as the fate of the remaining deregistered parties are uncertain as it is becoming all the more clearer that only the 18 political parties not deregistered are the lawfully recognized political parties in Nigeria.