INEC halts Ahmad Lawan’s bid to return to Senate.
In a twist of fate for Senate President Ahmad Lawan, a federal high court sitting in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital has ordered the All Progressive Congress to submit the name of Bashir Machina as the authentic APC candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
The presiding Judge, Justice Fadimatu Murtala while upholding the May 28 primary election of the APC that produced Bashir Machina, nullified another parallel primary election conducted by the party on June 9 purported won by the Senate President.
What brought about the suit?
Lawan and Machina have been at each other’s throats since after party primaries, over who becomes the APC candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District in the 2023 elections.
Machina instituted the court case against the APC for submitting the name of Ahmad Lawan as the party’s candidate instead of him who participated in the May primary election, arguing that the APC, in doing so, violated section 84(14) of the Electoral Act 2022, section 223(1) of the 1999 constitution, Article 21.3 of the APC constitution and paragraph 20 (c), 27(c) (d) and (f) of the APC guidelines for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 general elections.
The APC in a reaction to the suit argued that it is not within the court’s jurisdiction to hear the case since Machina did not participate in the rescheduled primary election and also did not exhaust the party’s internal mechanism of dispute resolution before heading to court.
What is INEC’s reaction to the court judgment?
INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman of Voters Education Committee, Festus Okoye, while reacting to the development said the commission will “comply with the specific orders directed at it” and this can only be done when the commission receives the certified true copy of the order, adding that it also expects the party to comply with the orders directed at it.