An Abuja-based human rights lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi, has described the replacement of the name of All Progressive Congress Yobe North senatorial candidate, Bashir Machina, with that of the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, as fraudulent and unconstitutional.
Olajengbesi stated that the APC national chairman, Adamu Abdullahi, was hellbent on foisting Lawan on members of the party as seen first during the buildup to APC presidential primary when he announced Lawan as a ‘consensus candidate’ against the will of members of the National Working Committee of the party and other presidential contestants.
This was contained in a statement signed by Olajengbesi, who is the Principal Partner of Law Corridor, on Saturday, where he noted that Adamu wanted “enthrone” Lawan as the party’s Yobe North senatorial candidate, despite him not contesting in the primary election.
The PUNCH reports that Machina, who was declared the APC candidate at the Yobe North senatorial primary election, had stated that he would not step down for the Senate President.
However, in a turn of events, Machina’s name was replaced by Lawan’s on the list of Yobe senatorial candidates sent from the APC to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“Now that Lawan has lost the presidential primary to former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, it is shocking that the APC chairman again threw away constitutional democracy and moved on to enthrone Lawan as Yobe North senatorial candidate for the ruling party when it was apparent that the Senate President didn’t participate in the Senatorial primary,” the statement reads in part.
Olajengbesi added that the party had disgraced itself by allowing such to happen and advised Machina to seek redress in court.
The APC has just disgraced and embarrassed itself as a shameless party with no respect for constitutional democracy which President Muhammadu Buhari preaches.
“Going by the provisions of Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022 signed by the President, the APC cannot just foist anybody on other contestants, not especially in this case where Machina contested the election and won whilst Lawan was busy chasing his presidential ambition which was met with preposterous defeat as he didn’t even come close to the first three in terms of votes cast by delegates.
“Recall that similar cases have been recorded with the likes of other APC presidential aspirants including Godswill Akpabio, Dave Umahi, and Ibikunle Amosun.
“The APC must stop its illegalities and actions alien to decent democracy. There is nothing absolutely wrong with Lawan’s 24-year rubberstamp tenure in the National Assembly coming to an end in 2023. It is this sit-tight syndrome that has destroyed democracy in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“Machina is encouraged to seek legal redress to reclaim his rightful mandate from Lawan. Machina has a good case and should not give in to intimidation and oppression by the high and mighty who should be taught a lesson that illegalities won’t be tolerated going into the 2023 elections,” Olajengbesi stated.