Supreme Court affirms Ahmed Lawan as senatorial candidate for Yobe North

By Salihu Ali, Abuja 

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria has restored Senator Ahmed Lawal as the authentic candidate of All Progressives Congress APC for Yobe North Senatorial District in the February 25 National Assembly elections.


The Apex Court in a three to two Judgement on Monday, set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal Abuja division and the trial court Damaturu, Yobe state which had affirmed Bashir Machina as candidate having won the May 28, 2022.


The ground of voiding the two earlier judgments by the Supreme Courts new judgment was that Bashir Sheriff Machina adopted originating summons to invoke his case at the Federal High Court.


Justice Centus Nweze who delivered the majority judgment of the Apex Court held that Bashir Machina ought to commence his case at the Federal High Court with summons in view of grievous allegations in his suit against the defendants.


Justice Nweze said that hostile issues were involved in the Machina’s matter that cannot be resolved through originating summons.


However, Justices Adamu Jauro and Emmanuel Agim disagreed with the majority judgment and held that both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal were corrected in their findings of declaring Machina as APC’S Senatorial candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District.


The two Justices held that Machina was lawfully nominated because the primary election of May 28, 2022 which produced him was lawfully conducted in line with the provisions of the law.


Justices Jauro and Agim insisted that APC conducted an unlawful primary election because the May 28 primary election was not cancelled before that of June 9, 2022 that purpotedly produced Lawan was illegal, unlawful and a breach of section 285 of the 1999 Constitution.


Besides, they held that Lawan had in an undisputed letter to APC voluntarily withdrew his participation in the primary election for the Presidential election.


They contended that INEC was specific that it witnessed the May 28 primary election that produced Machina but did not witness that of June 9, 2022 because there was no notification from APC to that effect.


They therefore dismissed the appeal by the APC for being incompetent and un-meritorious.


Recalled that the Court of Appeal in Abuja has affirmed Bashir Machina as the authentic senatorial candidate for Yobe North under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election.


The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan was challenging the decision of Justice Fadimatu Aminu of the Federal High Court, Damaturu, which had on September 28, 2022, declared Machina as winner of the primary election organized by the APC in May 2022, while Lawan opted to contest the presidential primary election organized by the APC in June.


Lawan lost the APC presidential ticket to former Lagos state governor, Bola Tinubu.


However, Machina was asked to step down for Lawan but he insisted that he would not withdraw for the Senate President.


With the restoration of Senator Ahmed Lawal as the authentic candidate of All Progressives Congress APC for Yobe North Senatorial District in the February 25 national Assembly elections, it has now put to rest the wranglings in APC on who is the flag bearer for the senatorial zone.


Speaking in an interview, the Senate President Dr. Ahmed Lawal described the judgment as a victory to democracy and people of his constituency.


He commended the judiciary for standing for justice and equity and for the development of democracy.


Lawal also salutes the roles of the media for being professional and advancing the course of democracy in Nigeria.

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