The Supreme Court of Nigera has upheld the de-registration of 22 political parties carried out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Delivering judgment in an appeal filed by the INEC against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Ejembi Eko, consequently, set aside a judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, which had nullified the de-registration of the political parties.
The Apex Court held that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it, on its own, raised the issue of lack of fair hearing in favour of the 22 political parties, but declined to give an opportunity to other respondents to address it on the issue, before reaching a just conclusion.
Justice Eko also held that the Court of Appeal took the issue of fair hearing out of the contemplations of the notice of appeal filed by the political parties, emphasizing that proceeding to give judgment in such a situation, ran afoul of the pillar of the same fair hearing.
74 political parties were de-registered by the INEC on February 6, 2020, de-registered 74 political parties for failure to win any political office in the 2019 general elections, the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD) and 21 other parties had later filed the action at the Federal High Court, Abuja.