Embattled Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, aided by some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, is currently reaching out to the justices of the Appeal Court to get a favourable ruling in the Yobe North Senatorial Ticket case between him and the declared winner, Bashir Machina, reports SaharaReporters.
Sources revealed that there are strong indications that Lawan and his cronies were using President Muhammadu Buhari’s name to push hard and influence the outcome of the Appeal Court Judgement in the case between him and Machina.
Recall that the Federal High Court, Damaturu, Yobe State, had in June declared Machina as the rightful APC senatorial candidate for Yobe North having emerged from a valid primary election that was conducted on May 28, 2022.
Though Lawan initially accepted the verdict and made public his decision not to appeal the judgement, he, however, made u-turn and is secretly sponsoring the appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
The case is before the President of the Court, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem and other two Justices of the court.
However, it was gathered that the Senate President, Lawan, the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu and some key officials of the presidency were working round the clock to upturn the decision of the lower court using Buhari’s name to intimidate the Justices of the panel.
The job of influencing the Appeal Court Justices is being coordinated by the governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu and one Usman Musale.
“Lawan has also been putting intense pressure on Mai Mala Buni, Yobe State Governor to reach out to his Plateau State counterpart, Simon Lalong who played a vital role in the emergence of Monica as President of the Court of Appeal,” a top source revealed.
It was also gathered that Lawan had asked Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Opeyemi Bamidele to undermine the budget of the Judiciary should the Justices refuse to do his bidding.
The case is awaiting judgment, though no date is given for the verdict yet.
An Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal reserved judgment in an appeal in respect of the All Progressives Congress’ Yobe North Senatorial District.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensen, who presided over a 3-man panel, reserved judgement after taking arguments from lawyers on Friday.
Machina won the primary election organised by the APC in May 2022, while Lawan opted to contest the presidential primary election organised by the APC in June.
Lawan lost the APC presidential ticket to former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu.
However, 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 the Independent National Electoral Commission as its senatorial candidate for Yobe North.
Miffed by the development, Machina headed to court to seek redress. Specifically, Machina in his suit asked the court to declare him as the validly elected senatorial candidate of the APC for the 2023 election.
Justice Aminu nullified the parallel primary election that produced Lawan on June 9, 2022.
Consequently, the trial judge ordered the APC to forward the name of Machina to INEC as the authentic winner of the primary held in May.