Court reverses INEC’s de-registration of Youth Party

Written by on October 12, 2020

A Federal High Court in Abuja has reversed the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove the enlisted Youth Party of Nigeria (YPN).

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment on Monday, held that INEC acted in violation of the political party’s right to a fair hearing when it announced the Youth Party’s removal during the pendency of a case the party filed against INEC’s earlier threat to de-register it.

The judgment was on a suit filed by the Youth Party, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/10/2020, which had INEC as the sole defendant.

Justice Ekwo held that although INEC is empowered under Section 255(a) of the Constitution to remove political parties, such power must be exercised lawfully.

The judge noted that while the suit was filed in January 2020, INEC announced the de-registration of the complainant on February 6, 2020.

Justice Ekwo held that the manner the defendant threatened to remove the complainant and the manner it went about removing the plaintiff were arbitrary.

“I condemn the action of the defendant in de-registering the plaintiff while its case was pending,” the judge said.

He added that INEC’s decision to de-register the plaintiff during the pendency of the case amounted to an arbitrary exercise of powers.

The judge granted the plaintiff’s relief six and proceeded to grant an order restraining INEC from de-registering the plaintiff until it YPN is given equal opportunity to participate in the 2023 general elections.

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