The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said there is no going back on the recent deregistration of 74 political parties.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering 31 political parties.
In her ruling, Justice Chikere said having failed to counter the application filed by the applicants, the affected political parties have the legal right which must be protected.
Reacting to the court injunction, INEC’s Director, Voters Education and Publicity, Oluwole Ozzase – Uzi insisted that the injunction granted by the court cannot stop an action the electoral body has already taken.
However, he said even though the commission is yet to get a copy of the injunction, it stands on its decision to delisting the parties.
“Ordinarily, courts don’t grant injunctions to stop an act which has already been done. We haven’t seen the order, so it’s difficult for us to comment on it.
“Perhaps, the fact of deregistration wasn’t brought to the court’s attention. I am aware that this was mentioned in court today by the plaintiffs’ lawyer, but their application to restore the plaintiffs as registered political parties wasn’t taken today.
“This motion is still pending. The court has granted accelerated hearing of the case”.
The commission had on February 6, deregistered the 74 political parties over poor performance in the 2019 general elections and failing to meet certain constitutional requirements, while pronouncing 18 parties healthy for future polls.
The political parties had participated in the verification exercise conducted by INEC that led to their eventual deregistration and therefore, approached the court in October 2019 seeking for protection.
But, INEC failed to counter the application filed by the affected political parties in court.