Deputy campaign coordinator for Bashir Machina campaign organisation, Nura Audu, has described the Supreme Court judgement which recognised the president of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan as the authentic senatorial candidate for Yobe North zone as devastating to anyone committed to justice and fairness.
He tagged the judgment as unprecedented and unfortunate in the political history of Nigeria.
Audu, a staunch supporter of Machina, speaking with The Punch said “the Supreme Court judgement was a daylight robbery, and very unfortunate in the political history of Nigeria.”
“Tension is high now,” he said, explaining further, he continued, “Ahmed Lawan neither obtained and filled the Senatorial aspiration form nor contested in the primaries.”
Speaking on the next line of action will be, he said, “As Muslims, we believe in destiny; we will wait for what our leader would say before knowing what to do.”
Audu, who said he was in the court when the judgment was delivered, said in spite the court judgment, Machina’s supporters will not forsake him.
Meanwhile Ahmad Lawan, the Senate president, hailed the judgment of the apex Court of the and described the verdict as a victory for democracy ahead of the February 25 polls.
Speaking to journalists at the Senate Guest House in Maitama, Lawan praised the All Progressives Congress leadership for taking it upon itself to approach the Supreme Court following the Court of Appeal’s decision, recognising Bashir Machina, as the party’s senatorial candidate.
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He said in part, “Let me begin by thanking God for his blessing and, of course, for what happened today at the Supreme Court on the judgment on Yobe North. This is a significant victory for the APC in Yobe and the APC in general across the country.”
Lawan, in his appreciation post, also thanked his political party for fighting tooth and nail for his victory.
Delivering the judgment, three out of a five-member panel agreed with the APC that the suit at the trial court ought not to have commenced via an originating summons since it contained allegations of fraud.
Justice Centus Nweze, in the lead judgement, faulted Machina’s approach, commencing the suit by way of originating summons, without adducing any oral evidence to prove allegations of fraud raised.
“That the first respondent accused the APC of fraudulently substituting his name with that of Lawan. Where there is an allegation of fraud it should not be commenced by an originating summons. There was a need to call witnesses to prove allegations of fraud.” Nweze noted.
In its majority decision, the apex court also set aside the decision of the Appeal Court, Gombe Division, which affirmed the decision of the trial court that declared Machina the senatorial candidate for Yobe North.
However, in a dissenting decision by Justices Emmanuel Agim and Adamu Jauro, the apex court said Lawan never participated in the APC primary, as he withdrew voluntarily to participate in the presidential primary held on June 8, 2022.