INEC has power to deregister political parties, court reaffirms [ARTICLE]

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The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) recalls that the HDP had approached the court challenging the powers of INEC to cancel registration as a political party.

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The party also prayed the court to declare that INEC did not have the power to cancel its registration as a political party, except under the law.

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The party also asked the court for an order for INEC to search it as a political party in Nigeria.

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At his trial, Justice Taiwo maintained that the HDP fell short of Section 225 (a) and also had nothing to show the court that INEC's action to cancel it as a political party was unconstitutional.

According to the judge, whoever claims must prove it, but the author (HDP) does not prove to the court that INEC acted illegally, canceling the registration as a political party.

The court found that “The plaintiff's case is weak and the requested benefits cannot be granted. The law is that the plaintiff succeeds on the merits of his case and not that the defense is weak.

“The plaintiff has the burden of proving his case, but he was unable to show the court that he met the requirements of Section 225 (a).

“The plaintiff must give details of malice when he claimed that he was removed from the register for malice. The court is not a Father Christmas to grant exemptions that were not sought.

"I think the deregistration of the HDP as a political party was legally carried out and ended the HDP's legal existence as a political party." the judge said.

HDP, however, promised to appeal the sentence.

NAN also recalls that, on May 28, Judge Taiwo in another trial handed down in the case brought by the National Unity Party (NUP) against INEC, affirmed the electoral arbitrator's powers to cancel the registration of political parties.

The NUP was one of 74 parties canceled by INEC in February.

The court stated that the commission's constitutional powers and the reasons given by the commission for deregistration of political parties were valid, in accordance with the law and the sacrosanct.

The court also held that INEC's powers could not be affected by the fact that early elections of the local government by some states whose dates were not fixed, certain or even determinable.

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