Thursday, September 29, 2022

TMG blasts two-faced INEC for betraying Machina to favour Lawan 

“We, therefore, call on INEC to maintain absolute neutrality and respect for the rule of law in its activities at all levels, to demonstrate competence and trustworthiness.”

• September 8, 2022
Bashir Machina, Mahmood Yakubu and Ahmad Lawan
Bashir Machina, Mahmood Yakubu and Ahmad Lawan

The Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) has condemned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for backtracking on its earlier affirmation of Bashir Machina as the winner of the All Progressives Congress primary for the Yobe North senatorial district.

TMG expressed its “total displeasure with the latest position of the electoral body over the declaration of Bashir Machina,” whose victory was earlier affirmed from the senatorial primary in Yobe North, “giving the INEC-certified true copy report of the primary election held on May 28, 2022, when he scored 289 votes out of 300 delegates.” 

The election monitoring group added that it was not “unaware of the alleged overall objective triggering the latest position by INEC to upturn the primary in favour of the incumbent Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, whose participation in the senatorial primary has been disqualified by the provisions of Electoral Act, for his involvement at the same time as a candidate of presidential primary, where he contested and lost.” 

INEC claimed in court that the appropriate body of the APC did not sanction Mr Machina’s victory though in its certified true copy dated June 23, 2022, it declared Mr Machina the primary election winner after polling 289 votes out of 300 delegates. 

The primary was conducted by Danjuma Isa Munga, a member of the five-man election committee set up by the APC national leadership to conduct the Yobe senatorial District election. 

INEC did not list incumbent Mr Lawan as having participated in the exercise in the copy of the document obtained by Peoples Gazette. 

In an affidavit before the Damaturu Division of the Federal High Court, dated August 11, Mohammed Ayuba, INEC’s assistant executive officer, claimed that the primary which Mr Machina held on to was not the one organised by the national leadership of the APC for the Yobe North senatorial district. 

On oath, Mr Ayuba said the APC submitted Mr Lawan as its candidate for the Yobe North senatorial district. 

“We find the tactical pursuit of injustice and impunity through judicial institution displayed in an affidavit dated August 11, 202,2 filed before the Federal High Court in Damaturu, Yobe state, as tantamount to probable disobedience to the sanity and sanctity of the provisions of Electoral Act and betray of public trust,” TMG said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added, “We, therefore, call on INEC to maintain absolute neutrality and respect for the rule of law in its activities at all levels, to demonstrate competence and trustworthiness to secure the integrity and public trust in the 2023 general elections.”

TMG further noted with “serious condemnation, the deliberately created condition by the electoral body to upturn the outcome and victory of a democratically recognised candidate in favour of an individual, who qualifies neither within the context of electoral law nor as a documented contestant in the senatorial primary.”

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