In a bid to get favourable judgement for the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, the Independent National Electoral Commission has contradicted itself by discrediting the senatorial primary election of Yobe North that produced Bashir Machina as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
A certified true copy of the commission’s report from the election of May 28, 2022 had revealed Machina polled 289 votes out of 300 delegates.
The document was certified by the electoral office on June 23, 2022 and released to his counsel, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN).
SaharaReporters gathered that the commission in a counter affidavit filed by its lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) discredited Machina’s election on the basis that it was conducted by Yobe State officers of the APC and not the National committee of the party as required by the law.
This position of electoral commission contradicts its CTC report.
In the page one of the CTC, the commission admitted that one Danjuma Isa Munga who is also one of the five members of Yobe State APC senatorial primary election committee set up by the National Headquarters of the party conducted the election of Yobe North.
However, INEC document in the counter affidavit which was sighted by SaharaReporters and signed by one Mohammed Ayuba, Assistant Executive Officer in the Litigation and Prosecution Department of INEC, claimed to be part of the committee set up to investigate Machina’s complaint described the election as not validly conducted.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported moves by the INEC leadership to shred the reports of the Resident Electoral Commissioners in the Yobe by backdating it to favour Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
“INEC has caved in to political pressures and other forces deployed by the outgoing Senate President, Mr Ahmad Lawan and his backers to shred the report of the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner that supervised the APC primary Elections in Yobe state by doctoring and backdating it to accommodate the Senate president and others in states where they have an interest,” a source had said.
“Shockingly, the Chairman of INEC Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu is fully part of this plot, making direct telephone calls to state offices.
“Despite the glaring fact that Ahmad Lawan was a principal actor in the APC presidential primary, which saw him lose to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, he has since mounted relentless pressures on INEC leadership to obtain a senatorial ticket in Yobe state by all means possible.”
SaharaReporters reports that Section 31 of the Electoral Act only allows for substitution when a candidate dies or when he or she withdraws from the race and informs INEC in writing.
The section reads: “A candidate may withdraw his or her candidature by notice in writing signed by him and delivered personally by the candidate to the political party that nominated him for the election and the political party shall convey such withdrawal to the commission not later than 90 days to the election.”
Source: Sahara Reporters.