Senate President Ahmed Lawan has been recognised by the Supreme Court as the legitimate candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
In the lead decision, Justice Centus Nweze questioned Bashir Machina’s strategy for starting the lawsuit at the Federal High Court Damaturu division through an originating summons and without providing oral evidence to support fraud accusations.
In the majority ruling, the Supreme Court also overturned the Gombe Division of the Appeal Court’s decision, which had upheld the trial court’s designation of Machina as the APC Senatorial Candidate for Yobe North.
Justices Emmanuel Agim and Adamu Jauro, writing in disagreement, said that Ahmad Lawan never took part in the APC primary on May 28 because he voluntarily withdrew to run in the presidential primary on June 8, 2022.
The minority opinion stated that because the APC did not cancel the primary held on May 28 before holding a new one, the conduct of the primary on June 9, 2022, in which Lawan won, violated Section 84(5) of the Electoral Act.
The APC had contested Bashir Machina’s selection as the party’s nominee for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
The party argued that the legitimate senatorial candidate for Yobe North in the upcoming general election was Ahmad Lawan, the president of the Nigerian Senate.
At the most recent session of the appeal, the party’s attorney, Sepiribo Peters, contended that the primary election, which took place on May 28, 2018, and produced Machina, violated the Electoral Act 2022.
Peters argued that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party did not nominate one Danjuma Manga to conduct the aforementioned primary election.
He testified before the court that the APC called off the primary election due to anomalies that were noticed during the process.
He said that the APC NWC conducted the other primary on June 9 and selected Lawan as the legitimate candidate for the party.
The Senate President did not contest the lawsuits at either the trial or lower courts, according to Machina’s attorney Sarafa Yusuf, who urged the Supreme Court to reject the appeal for lack of merit.
Additionally, he noted that Manga, who oversaw the primary election in which Machina triumphed, was a member of the committee established by the NWC to oversee the process.
The APC had petitioned the Court of Appeal in Abuja to overturn the decision of the lower court designating Machina as the party’s candidate for Yobe North, but Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the panel’s president, ruled that the appeal was an abuse of the legal system.