The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja declaring Bashir Machina as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District.

APC had approached the appellate court seeking to set aside the judgment of lower court, insisting Ahmad Lawan, Nigeria’s Senate President, was the authentic Senatorial candidate for Yobe North in next year’s election.

After losing out in the APC presidential primary election in June, Mr Lawan, sought to clinch the party’s senatorial ticket to return to the upper legislative chamber in 2023.

But Mr Lawal did not participate in the original APC Yobe North primary held on 28 May, because he was contesting to be the party’s presidential candidate.

Having failed to secure his party’s nod to run for president, Mr Lawal tried to reclaim the party’s ticket for Yobe North, a district he has represented since 2007.

Delivering judgement on Monday, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal in Abuja led by Monica Dongban-Mensem, who is the president of the court, held that the appeal was an abuse of court process.

“The 1st respondent (Machina) remains the Appellant (APC’s) candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District,” Mrs Dongban-Mensem said.

She said “The lower court was right when it held that the purported primary election held on 9 June was not monitored by INEC.”

“I find that the lower court properly evaluated all the issues raised before it. Therefore, all the issues are resolved against the appellant,” Mrs Dongban-Mensem said.

Dismissing the appeal, the appellate court awarded N1 million against the APC in favour of Mr Machina.The panel condemned the conduct of parallel primaries by political parties.Citing Section 84 (1) of the Electoral Act, Mrs Dongban-Mensem said, “The law is designed to check political parties’ act of impunity in the conduct of parallel primaries.”

Premium Times/Olaolu Fawole


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