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EXCLUSIVE: Yobe North Senatorial Primaries: Nigerian Senate President Lawan Secretly Sponsors Appeal To Challenge Machina’s Court Victory, Despite Publicly Accepting Verdict


Even though the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is listed as the only Appellant in a court document exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, it was learnt that Lawan paid all the court fees through his political godson, Mohammed Gagiyo and is pushing for the Appeal of the case behind the scene.

There is an indication that Senate President Ahmad Lawan has secretly sponsored an appeal against the judgement of the Federal High Court, Damaturu which recognised Bashir Sheriff Machina as the authentic senatorial candidate of Yobe North.


Even though the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is listed as the only Appellant in a court document exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters, it was learnt that Lawan paid all the court fees through his political godson, Mohammed Gagiyo and is pushing for the Appeal of the case behind the scene.

It was also reliably gathered that Abdullahi Yusuf, Chief of Staff to the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, who is a known ally of Lawan and at the forefront of the political fight against Machina, shopped for lawyers on behalf of Lawan as the counsel who defended Lawan and the party at the Federal High Court had all been dropped.


One Murtala Ajaka, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC is said to be the link between Lawan and other judges to get favourable judgement for Lawan at the Appeal Court.

The Notice of Appeal exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday shows the APC as the Appellant and Bashir Sheriff Machina, Ahmad Lawan and Independent National Electoral Commission as the respondents.

The appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Gombe has CA/GMB/…../2022 as the Appeal No. and FHC/DM/CS/11/2022 as the Suit No.

A day after the court ruling identifying Machina as the authentic Yobe North senatorial candidate, Lawan said he would not appeal the decision of a Federal High Court.

In a statement signed by Lawan, the Senate President who currently represents Yobe North in the National Assembly, said he had accepted the court's decision disqualifying him from running for office and participating in the election.


The Senate President said after thorough deliberations with his political allies, followers, and well-wishers, he decided to accept his political destiny with regard to the 2023 elections.


The statement titled ‘Court Judgement on Yobe North Senatorial District Candidacy,’ read: “Yesterday, Wednesday, 28th September 2022, the Federal High Court in Damaturu delivered judgement on the rightful candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District for the 2023 National Assembly elections.


“The said judgement disqualifies my candidature and therefore my participation in the elections.




“After due consultations with my political associates, supporters and well-wishers, I have decided not to appeal against the judgement. I accept the judgement.


“At this juncture, I deem it appropriate to thank His Excellency, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam for the leadership role in the APC political family in Yobe State. I also thank His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni for the support and brotherhood.


“To my constituents, I thank you all for your unflinching support, loyalty and unreserved commitment to the course of building our people and Yobe North Senatorial District and indeed Yobe State.


“I want to assure you that I will continue to serve you in my personal and any other capacity at all times.


“We journeyed together for a long time, and this journey will remain a life long journey. It has been a wonderful relationship and it can only get stronger. I am indebted to you all. Alhamdulillah.”


However, the court document obtained by SaharaReporters shows the APC and Lawan have made a U-turn.

The court document reads, “Take notice that the Appellant, being dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal High Court, Damaturu Division, Yobe State contained in the judgement delivered by Honourable Justice Fadima Murtala Aminu on the 28th day of September, in suit No. FHC/DM/CS/11/22 between Bashir Sheriff V. APC & 2 ORs. doth hereby appeal to the Court of Appeal upon the grounds set out herein.

“And the Appellant further states that the names and addresses of the persons directly affected by the appeal are set out in paragraph 5.”

It identified part of the decision of the lower court complained of as the “whole decision”.

According to the document, the Ground of Appeal One says, “The lower court cannot have held thus: ‘Upon a calm perusal of the community reading of the Plaintiff’s pleading and the reliefs sought particularly the aforementioned paragraphs of the affidavit in support of the originating summons it become glaringly clear that the Plaintiff’s claim are tied to the results of the primary election of the Ist defendant held on the 28th May 2022.

“Summersault to hold as it did thus: ‘Contrary to the 2nd Defendants submission that the cause of faction arose on the 28th May 2022, the day the primary election took place. The cause of action actually accrued on the 17 June 2022, the event date being that a decision has taken pace that unfolded in the occurrence of the institution of the suit.’

“And thereby erred gravely in law and assumed jurisdiction wrongly over the suit that was statue barred.


Meanwhile, SaharaReporters reported on Friday that the INEC had complied with a letter earlier written to the electoral body by the APC asking it to recognise and publish Bashir Machina's name as its rightful candidate for Yobe North senatorial district.


The Federal High Court in Damaturu had in a landmark judgement ordered both INEC and APC to recognise Bashir Machina as the authentic senatorial candidate of the party.


This was expected to lay to rest all speculations on whether the party would comply with the court order given to it by the court.

SaharaReporters earlier on Friday reported that the APC in a letter dated October 12, 2022, and signed by its National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and the Secretary, Sen. Iyiola Omisore asked INEC to publish the name of Machina on its portal in line with the court order.


The letter titled ‘Notification of Court Judgment In Favour of Bashir Sheriff’, read, “We write to notify the Commission of the attached judgement dated 28th September 2022 and Order dated 5th October, 2022 from the Federal High Court, Damaturu Judicial Division directing the Commission to accept and recognize Bashir Sheriff as the Party’s candidate for Yobe North Senatorial District, Yobe State and to publish same accordingly.


“Above is for your information and necessary action, please.”


The Federal High Court in Damaturu had ruled that Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, is not the candidate of the ruling party for the senatorial district in next year’s election into the National Assembly.


The court ruled that Machina is the authentic candidate of the party having won the legally recognised primary supervised by INEC officials.


There had been controversy over the ticket.


Machina, at a primary election organised by the party in May, had won unopposed.


But Lawan was said to have participated in another primary election organised by the APC after he contested the party’s presidential ticket and lost in June to Bola Tinubu, who is now the presidential candidate of the party.


Machina was asked to step down for Lawan but he insisted that he would not withdraw for the Senate President.


Amid the controversy, the APC submitted the Senate President’s name to INEC as its senatorial candidate for Yobe North.


Aggrieved, Machina instituted a suit asking the court to declare him as the authentic senatorial candidate of the APC for the 2023 election.


In her judgment, Justice Fadimatu Aminu nullified the parallel primary election that produced Lawan on June 9, 2022.


The judge also ordered the APC to forward the name of Machina to INEC as the authentic winner of the primary held in May.