From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Federal High Court in Damaturu, Yobe State, has ordered the All Progressives Congress (APC) to submit the name of Bashir Machina as winner of its May 28 primary for Yobe North senatorial district.
Bashir Machina had filed a suit against APC, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Senate President, Ahmad Lawan over the non inclusion of his name on the list of winners of the primary for the senatorial district held on May 28, 2022. Machina had prayed the court to declare him as the authentic senatorial candidate of the APC for the 2023 election.
Justice Fadima Aminu in her judgement declared that the purported primary held on June 9, which allegedly produced Senate President Ahmad Lawan as winner and candidate for Yobe North Senatorial district was a “phantom primary.”
The court, after citing various decided cases as precedents, also ruled on the issue of its jurisdiction to entertain the matter as argued by counsels to the defendants, INEC (1st defendant), Ahmad Lawan (2nd defendant) and APC (3rd defendant). The judge said the court cannot robbed itself of its right.
On whether or not the case was filed out of time (statute barred),the judge said the plaintiff, Bashir Machina, filed the case within the 14 days timeframe when he realised his name was not on the INEC list.
Counsel to Machina, Ibrahim Bawa, (SAN) hailed the judgement, saying the court had again given hope for the survival of democracy in the country.