INEC again asks court to dismiss political parties’ application

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday, again prayed that the Federal High Court in Abuja to strike out the prayers of deregistered 31 political parties.

SAN Alhassan Umar, the counsel to INEC claimed that “their application is frivolous”. He thereby challenged the substantive suit of the deregistration of said political parties.

Earlier, INEC had, on Feb. 6, deregistered 74 political parties, leaving 18 others.

However, in a motion on notice with suit number: FHC//ABJ/ CS/444/19 between Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and 32 others Vs. Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and INEC (1st and 2nd respondents respectively) the applicants approached the court for a restraining order.

Although 33 political parties filed the matter in court, two of the parties; Labour Party (LP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC) were later dropped from the suit because the parties were not deregistered by INEC.

Justice Chikere had, on May 29, fixed June 3 to hear the substantive matter. At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, Chinedu Obienu announced his appearance for the party seeking to be joined in the suit.

Obienu told the judge that his client, Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) was also affected by INEC’s action and that they sought to be joined in the suit in order to avoid case multiplicity.

According to him, the 2nd defendant (INEC) had the power to deregister political parties but the power has not accrued.

INEC’s counsel, however, pleaded that the applications lacked merit and are frivolous and as such be dismissed.

The affected parties are Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) All Blending Party (ABP) All Grand Alliance Party (AGAP) Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and Green Party of Nigeria (GPN)  among others.

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