It is incorrect to refer to Bashir Machina as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Yobe North Senatorial District, an official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said.
No candidate was listed for Yobe North in the particulars of 2023 candidates that INEC published on Friday.
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Machina had been declared winner of the APC Senatorial primaries conducted on May 28, 2022, in Gashua.
He had polled 289 out of the 300 votes cast by the delegates who partook in the election.
But the APC leadership under Abdullahi Adamu had submitted the name of Senate President Ahmad Lawan as candidate of the senatorial district for the election.
Machina had written a protest letter to Adamu and also headed for the court.
However, things took a different dimension, on Friday, when he stormed INEC office in Damaturu to obtain Certified True Copy of the primary election result.
The CTC, which he made public, had led to reports that INEC had chosen him over Lawan.
But a top INEC official told Daily Trust in confidence that though the CTC emanated from INEC, it does not mean Machina has been recognised as APC candidate for Yobe North.
He said it only indicated the outcome of the primary monitored by INEC, adding that a political party has to nominate its candidate.
Asked to comment on Lawan’s name that was submitted by the APC, he said the commission cannot accept such as doing so would be tantamount to running afoul of the Electoral Act 2022.
“We (INEC) are status barred from publishing any candidate of any party that did not emerge through valid primaries, monitored by INEC as stipulated in the Electoral Act.”
“Although the parties have the codes and password to nominate their candidates for all elections, we (INEC) are also lawfully bound to verify that those that they (parties) nominate are the right candidates that met the stipulated requirements.
“They (political parties) know of this provisions and we have had series of meetings to even go through the laws together. So INEC as an organisation would not engage in actions capable of undermining the country’s democracy, ” the official said.
On the way forward, he said, “The alternative is for all sides to approach the court of law of the land.”