On Monday, the Supreme Court of Nigeria delivered a historic ruling, declaring Senate President Ahmad Lawan as the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Yobe North Senatorial District in the upcoming February 25th general election.
The court’s decision was made in a three-against-two split judgement by a five-member panel led by Centus Nweze.
The ruling of the Supreme Court reversed the previous decisions of the Federal High Court in Yobe and the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which had declared Bashir Machina as the candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District.
The APC had challenged these verdicts, requesting the Supreme Court to nullify the previous judgements and affirm its selection of Lawan as the party’s candidate.
In the majority judgement, Centus Nweze noted that the previous court decisions were “perverse and must be set aside”. Nweze further stated that Bashir Machina ought to have commenced his suit by a writ of summons in light of the allegations of fraud against the APC in its selection of Lawan as the party’s candidate.
However, two members of the Supreme Court panel, Adamu Jauro and Emmanuel Agim, disagreed with the majority judgement. Jauro held that the APC’s appeal was “devoid of merit” and imposed a fine of N3 million in favour of Bashir Machina.
Agim stated that the primary election held on June 9th that produced Lawan was an “illegal contraption” and not monitored by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Agim also stated that Lawan’s withdrawal from the Yobe North Senatorial District race on May 12th to run for the APC presidential ticket automatically disqualified him from the National Assembly election.
The Supreme Court’s ruling not only confirms Ahmad Lawan as the official candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Yobe North Senatorial District but also has wider implications for the political landscape in Nigeria.
Lawan, who is the incumbent Senator for Yobe North, seeks to retain his seat in the National Assembly and the ruling of the Supreme Court will likely have a significant impact on the outcome of the upcoming general election.
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