The Supreme Court has declared Senate President Ahmed Lawan as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District, sacking Bashir Machina earlier recognised by the Federal High Court in Damaturu and Court of Appeal in Abuja.
In the lead judgement, Justice Centus Nweze faulted the approach of Bashir Machina in commencing the suit at the Federal High Court Damaturu division through originating summons and without oral evidence to prove allegations of fraud.
The Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu had ordered the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise Machina as the senatorial candidate for Yobe North.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Fadimatu Aminu, directed the APC to submit Machina’s name to the INEC as the rightful winner of the party’s May 28 primary election in the district.
A three-member panel led by Justice Monica Dagban-Mensah of the Court of Appeal in Abuja also upheld the ruling and affirmed the nomination of Machina as the authentic candidate of the APC for the senatorial district.
The appellate court observed that the APC argued its case and that of Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in its brief, but failed to make him a co-appellant, instead of being the 2nd respondent.
Lawan had lost the APC presidential primary to a former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who later emerged as the APC presidential candidate.
Although, the senate president did not take part in the Yobe North senatorial primary, the party had sent his name to INEC as its candidate but the electoral body refused to recognise him.
Machina, who won the primary, had resisted pressure to step down for Lawan and headed for the court to seek justice.