When young Nigerians rallied together to form the Youth Party, it seemed to be the long-awaited third force to challenge the old order of politics. But suddenly, to most people, it disappeared into thin air after the 2019 general elections.

However, what many don’t know is the Youth Party has been fighting for its survival and its main opp is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

What actually happened?

The Youth Party commenced the process for its registration in 2016 but couldn’t complete it till August 2018 due to INEC’s red tape. The late registration prevented the party from fully participating in the 2019 general elections.

What happened next?

With registration sorted, you’d think the Youth Party’s woes were finally over, but INEC had even more cards up its sleeves.

After the general elections in 2019, INEC threatened to deregister parties that underperformed. In January 2020, the Youth Party filed a case against the commission at the Federal High Court, Abuja to prevent deregistration. But INEC went ahead anyway to deregister the party and dozens of others in February 2020.

In October 2020, the court ruled in favour of the Youth Party and condemned INEC for enforcing deregistration while the case was in court. The commission appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal, but the Youth Party won there too in an unanimous judgement on May 11, 2021. The court ruled the party’s deregistration as “illegal, null and void”.

Still unsatisfied, INEC  refused to list the party as registered on its website and appealed the judgement again at the Supreme Court. The continuous drag prevented the Youth Party from proper preparations for the 2023 general elections. 

And at this point, we can’t help but wonder if INEC’s beef with the Youth Party is personal. 

When the Supreme Court delivered judgement on December 2, 2022, the court handed the Youth Party another resounding victory that finally closed the chapter on this battle because there’s no court left to appeal to. 

What does this mean for the Youth Party?

Hopefully, with this judgement, INEC’s witch hunt of the Youth Party is finally over, and the party can field candidates for the 2023 general elections. 



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