The return of the current Senate President, Ahmad Lawan into the upper chambers ahead of the 2023 elections is still mired in uncertainty after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) disclosed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has no candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial zone.
The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Festus Okoye, said this on Thursday in a statement.
According to him, the commission was informed of a counter-affidavit purportedly filed in the Federal High Court, Damaturu Judicial Division relating to the Yobe North Senatorial District primary election.
The battle for the ticket has been between Bashir Machina and Lawan.
Okoye said; “Notwithstanding the matter in court and without prejudice to the consideration or likely outcome of the case in court, the commission reiterates its earlier position that it stands by the report of its monitoring team and it was on the basis of that report that the commission did not publish the name and personal particulars of any candidate for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
“Consequently, the commission will review its quality assurance protocols, including the preview by appropriate ranking officials of all processes filed on its behalf to ascertain their correctness in all material particulars with all reports and all information at its disposal before their presentation so that a situation like this is not repeated.”
Earlier in the week, Machina denied reports on his withdrawal from the race in favour of Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
Machina, who won the APC primary election held in the district, had been under pressure to step down for Lawan, who vied for the party’s presidential ticket in June.
In contradiction with Okoye’s recent stance, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had affirmed the former member of the House of Representatives as the winner of the APC primary election in July.
In a statement issued by the spokesman of his campaign organisation, Husaini Isah, Machina dismissed as outright falsehood reports on his resignation from the party and withdrawal from the senatorial race.
“We want to reiterate that Bashir Machina’s letter dated 13th June which was sent to the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, still stands and any attempt to forge his withdrawal letter would be treated as a pure criminal offence irrespective of the calibre of person(s) involved,” the statement added.
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