Supreme Court declares Lawan APC candidate for Yobe North

THE Supreme Court has declared Senate President Ahmed Lawan as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District in the 2023 general elections.

The apex court made the declaration in a judgment delivered on Monday, February 6.

In the lead judgment, Justice Centus Nweze criticised Lawan’s opponent, Bashir Machina, for starting the lawsuit at the Federal High Court, Damaturu, through an originating summons without providing oral evidence to support fraud accusations.

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Also, three out of five members of the Supreme Court panel agreed with the APC’s position that the trial court suit 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,” the judge said.

The ICIR reported in November 2023 that the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal dismissed the suit filed by Lawan against Machina.

The court dismissed the appeal in a judgment delivered by a three-member panel led by Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, on Monday, November 28.

It held that a primary election conducted by the APC on June 9 – won by Lawan – was invalid as it breached the Constitution.

The APC had approached the Supreme Court to challenge Lawan’s disqualification from contesting the 2023 election as the APC candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District.

Machina had won in the party’s Senate primary held in May 2022.

    Lawan did not participate in the primary as he was involved in the race for the APC presidential ticket. However, after he failed to secure the APC presidential ticket, Lawan decided to return to the Senate.

    Machina was urged to step aside for Lawan, but he refused, insisting that he was the legitimate candidate.

    The APC conducted another primary for the Yobe North senatorial seat, which was won by Lawan.

    But Machina insisted that he remained the rightful candidate and proceeded to filed a lawsuit asking the court to recognise him as the legitimate flagbearer for the senatorial election.

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