The Supreme Court has affirmed Senate President, Ahmed Lawan as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Yobe North.
Ahmed Lawan Back On Ballot As Supreme Court Affirms Him Yobe APC Senatorial Candidate
The apex court, in a majority judgement delivered on Monday, allowed the appeal filed by the APC against Bashir Machina’s candidature.
Three out of a five-member panel, while delivering the judgement, agreed with the position of the APC that the suit at the trial court ought not to have commenced via an originating summons since it contained allegations of fraud.
“The bedrock of the suit shows that there were allegations of fraudulent practices against the appellants,” Centus Nweze said.
“That the 1st respondent accused the APC of fraudulently substituting his name with that of Lawan.
“Where there is an allegation of fraud it should not be commenced by an originating summons.
“There was a need to call witnesses to prove allegations of fraud.”
But, two judges of the Supreme Court, Adamu Jauro and Emmanuel Agim affirmed the judgment of the court of appeal.
“I affirm the brilliant judgment of the appellate court as to the appropriateness of the use of originating summons,” Agim said.
Agim said relevant facts showed the withdrawal of the senate president from the senatorial race to pursue his presidential bid.
According to him, facts also showed that Machina won the senatorial primary.
He added that the APC did not give INEC 21 days’ mandatory notice before going ahead to conduct another primary election on June 9.
He said the party did not cancel the May 28 election before going ahead to conduct another primary election.
The judge also noted that INEC was absent and did not monitor the June 9 election.
“The appellant has not contradicted that findings of fact are perverse or unreasonable,” Agim said.
“The failure to challenge the findings of facts defeats the entire appeal.”
Recall that Machina, during the APC senatorial primary election of Yobe North organised in May 2022, won unopposed.
However, Ahmed Lawan was said to have participated in another primary organised by the APC after he contested and failed to clinch the APC presidential ticket in June 2022.
Machina was reportedly asked to step down for Lawan but he insisted that he is the rightful candidate.
Amid the controversy, the APC submitted Ahmed Lawan’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the candidate for Yobe north.
The electoral umpire 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.
In September 2022, a federal high court in Damaturu, the Yobe capital, ordered the APC and INEC to recognise Machina as the candidate.
A month later, an Abuja court of appeal affirmed Machina’s election as the candidate of the APC for the Yobe north senatorial district.
Still not satisfied, the APC appealed the appellate court’s judgment.
This is despite Ahmed Lawan’s vow that he would not pursue legal action over the judgement.
In other news, Kanyi Daily reported that protesters on Monday morning blocked the University of Ibadan gate as a result of the ongoing economic chaos in the country.