Mr Realwan Okpanachi, a constitutional lawyer in Abuja, says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has constitutional power to deregister any political party. Okpanachi made this known in an interview with the Newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
The lawyer was reacting to a statement credited to Mr Mohammed Haruna, the INEC Federal Commissioner in charge of Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States, that INEC had no power to deregister any of the existing 91 political parties.
Okpanachi told NAN that in response to the proliferation of political parties which metamorphosed into 60 in 2011, the National Assembly amended the Electoral Act 2010. Defecting Imo lawmakers yet to resign from former parties(Opens in a new browser tab) He stated that this empowered the electoral umpire to deregister any political party which failed to win any election in Nigeria. He said the position of the law had changed when the constitution, through the Fourth Alteration, No. 9 Act, 2017, enacted in 2017 was assented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The legal practitioner disclosed that this assent by the president had conferred on INEC the power to deregister political parties by amending Section 225 of the 1999 Constitution. “By the said amendment and introduction of Section 225(A), INEC can now deregister political parties on grounds of breach of any requirements for registration,’’ he said.