Yobe North: Supreme Court declares Lawan APC candidate

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The Supreme Court has declared the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North senatorial district ahead of 2023 elections.

By the pronouncement, the apex court has set aside the judgement of the Appellate Court that affirmed Mr. Bashir Machina as the authentic candidate of the APC for the senatorial district. 

The Court of Appeal Abuja had on November 28 validated the judgement of the Federal High Court, Damaturu, Yobe state which upheld the May 28 primary election of the party that produced Machina and directed INEC to accept and publish his name accordingly. 

In a majority decision, a five-member panel of the apex court led by Centus Nweze held that the appeal filled by Ahmed Lawan has merit and therefore set aside the judgement of the appellate court. 

The apex court held that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the matter because it was commenced by an originating summon, since it hinges on allegations of fraud. 

However, Justice Adamu Jauro and Justice Emmanuel Agim, opposed the lead majority judgement of the other Justices, stating that, having withdrawn from his candidacy in the May 28 primary election, Lawan should not return to lay claim to the Yobe North ticket. 

They added that the June 9 primary election was a fresh exercise and should come with a 21-day notice to INEC.

It would be recalled that Machina won unopposed during the primaries organised by the party in May 2022, while the President of the Senate contested the party’s presidential ticket unsuccessfully in June.

Machina was reportedly asked to step down for Lawan but he insisted that he is the rightful candidate.

Amid the controversy, the APC submitted Lawan’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate for Yobe North.

The electoral commission subsequently refused to list any candidate for the district.

Aggrieved, Machina instituted a suit asking the court to declare him as the authentic senatorial candidate, as the senate president did not participate in the primary election.

While fielding questions from newsmen after his victory,Ahmad Lawan described the judgment as victory for democracy.

Lawan went ahead by commending the judiciary for stabilising the country’s democratic system.

On 2023, Lawan tasked teeming supporters, members and Nigerians to continue to support and vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the governors, all the senatorial candidates, House of Representatives candidates, and state house of assemblies candidates in the 2023 election.

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