Yobe North ticket: Appeal court affirms Machina as APC candidate
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has affirmed Bashir Machina as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North senatorial district in the 2023 general election.
A three-member panel of the appellate court led by justice Monica Dongban-Mensem upheld the ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State, which held that Senate President Ahmad Lawan is not the candidate of the APC for the senatorial district.
Recall that controversy has surrounded the APC ticket for the senatorial district.
Machina had won the party’s ticket unopposed in a primary election held in May.
Having failed in his bid for the presidential ticket of the APC, Lawan purportedly participated in another primary organised by the APC for the Yobe North senatorial ticket in June and won.
Machina, who is a former Chairman of the Board of Nigeria Shippers Council, was asked to step down for Lawan but he rejected it.
However, the APC allegedly forwarded Lawan’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as its candidate for Yobe North.
In an apparent show of disagreement, INEC declined to list anyone as APC candidate for the district.
Machina subsequently dragged the APC, INEC and Lawan to court, asking to be declared the candidate of the party for the district.
In a September ruling, the Federal High Court in Damaturu ordered the APC and INEC to recognise Machina as the candidate of the party for the 2023 polls.
Dissatisfied with the ruling, the APC filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn it.
The Herald can report that rather than make Lawan a co-applicant, the party curiously made him a co-respondent with Machina and INEC.
But in a judgement delivered today, the appellate court submitted that Lawan did not participate in the legally-recognised primary election of the APC to select its candidate in the election held on May 28, 2022.
The court held that the primary election conducted by the party on 9th June is invalid as it was in breach of the constitution.
The court ordered the appellant (APC) to pay the sum of N1 million to the 1st respondent (Bashir Sheriff) as cost.