A Federal High Court sitting in Damaturu, Yobe State Capital has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept and publish the name of Bashir Sheriff Machina as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress for Yobe North senatorial district in 2023.
The declaration was made by the presiding judge, Justice Fadima Aminu on Wednesday.
In her verdict on Wednesday, the judge affirmed Machina as the duly and validly elected candidate for APC, thereby upholding the May 28 primary election of the party that produced him.
The judge described the primary election where Senate President Ahmad Lawan emerged as the candidate as a “phantom”
Machina had asked the court to declare him an authentic senatorial flagbearer of the APC for the 2023 election.
He had emerged the winner of the primary election supervised by INEC officials earlier in the year. The senate president did not participate in the primary.
At the time the exercise was held, Lawan was pursuing his presidential ambition but lost to former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.
Rather than submit the name of the elected candidate, the name of the senate president was submitted to the commission by the ruling APC, a move that led to the deliberate omission of their names from the published particulars of candidates in late June.
To clarify the brewing controversy around the seat, INEC, on at least two different occasions, said it rejected the senate president’s name because he had not been validly nominated for the senatorial seat.
The commission, however, urged the duo to resolve their issues internally or seek redress in court.
Machina however filed a suit before a Federal High Court, Damaturu to challenge the APC National Working Committee decision.