National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Dr. Yunusa Tanko has said de-registration of political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is unconstitutional and a violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights(Ratification and Enforcement)Act .
He has therefore asked that the provisions of Section 78(77)(ii) of the Electoral Act 2010 which empowered the INEC to de-register political parties on the basis of not winning any elected seat be abrogated from the statute book.
A three-man judge of the Court of Appeal, made up of Justices Chinwe Eugenia Iyizoba, Joseph Shagbabor and Abimbola Osarugie Obaseki-Adejumo, had in a unanimous judgment had granted two out of the three prayers sought by the appellants and set aside the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court delivered September 16, 2011.
The judges of the Court of Appeal, in their judgement delivered July 24, 2015 had made a declaration to the effect that “the provisions of Section 78(77)(ii) of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended (hereafter referred to as the Electoral Act) is inconsistent with Article 10of the African Charter on Human Rights(Ratification and Enforcement)Act Cap 10 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended (hereafter referred to as “the Constitution”) and is ipso facto null and void and of no legal effect having regard to the provisions of section 1(3) of the Constitution”.
They had also granted “a perpetual injunction restraining the third defendant(INEC) from further disbanding or deregistering the first plaintiff (NCP) or any other political party in Nigeria for that matter in breach of the provisions of the Constitution”.
“In the final result, I hold that this appeal has merit. It is hereby allowed. The judgSment of Abang of the Federal High Court Lagos delivered on the 6th of March, 2013 is hereby set aside . in its place, reliefs 1 and 3 of the originating summons dated 14/411 are granted as prayed”, Justice Iyizoba had declared.