By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Inter Parties Advisory Council (IPAC) has commended as landmark the recent judgment of the Supreme Court, which upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) power to deregister political parties, even as it urged the 74 parties deregistered by the commission on to work with the current 18 parties for sustainable democracy in Nigeria having exhausted the full circle of jurisprudence.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of IPAC, Agbo Major, the Council also commended the speed in determining and delivering judgement on the matter which it said obviously was a clog on the wheel of preparations for the 2023 general elections.
It expressed hope that with this judgement, the coast is clear for the eighteen registered political parties to earnestly commence preparations for the upcoming elections, adding that Nigerians now know the options available for them as the country moves towards the elections.
The statement said “This landmark judgment, no doubt has further enriched our legal system and deepened our emerging democracy.
“IPAC commended the leaders of the 74 deregistered political parties for towing the path of honour in seeking redress in court which is the temple of justice and last hope of all aggrieved people, and urged them to accept the judgment of the apex court with equanimity and join political forces with their brothers and sisters in the 18 parties in redirecting the ship of the Nigeria state from its perilous course.
“Council said the political upheavals in the country demand the collective efforts of all Nigerians in surmounting them and make Nigeria great again.
“The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili dismissed the appeal seeking to upturn INEC’s power to deregister political parties filed by the National Unity Party (NUP) on behalf of the affected political parties.
“In its judgment delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro, the apex court held that INEC acted within the law and in compliance with extant provisions of the Electoral Act and Section 225(a) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended which empowered it to deregister any political party that failed to meet the statutory requirements of its registration”, the statement said.