Connect with us


Lawan vs Machina: ‘I Can See Protest Votes In Yobe North’ – Ozekhome Predicts


Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome has predicted that there might be what he called ‘protest votes’ in Yobe North at the forthcoming polls.

He predicted that the fallout of the Supreme Court ruling affirming the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan as the authentic All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Yobe North would led to protest votes at the polls.

According to him, the issue at hand is a “serious matter,” which is pertaining to the choice of the people’s representative, noting that the people had chosen their own representative.

The legal practitioner was reacting to the Supreme Court ruling on Monday, which affirmed the senate president as the APC candidate for Yobe north.

Ozekhome made the prediction during a live appearance on Channels TV’s The 2023 Verdict, a special election programme on Wednesday.

The judgement of the apex court came as a final stop after Lawan’s opponent, Bashir Machina had put up a strong legal battle.

Naija News recalls that Lawan was said to have dropped out of the Yobe North senatorial race on May 12, when he intended to contest for the APC presidential ticket instead.

But Machina who won the Yobe North APC primaries refused to step down and give the ticket to Lawan who contested but lost out at the party’s presidential primaries.

It is understood that Machina was the sole candidate in the Yobe North APC senatorial primaries as other aspirants who indicated interest were told not to contest to enable Machina hold the ticket for Lawan in case he loses the presidential election.

However, Machina was unwilling to let go of the ticket and refused all entreaties to hand over the ticket until the verdict of the apex court on Monday.

Naija News learnt that Ozekhome, in his reaction, said the Supreme Court has repeatedly warned that the era of what he described as technicalities over justice is gone forever.

He wondered how someone who wasn’t voted for can represent the people against someone who the people voted for to represent them.

He submitted that “I can see what you call ‘protest votes’ in that senatorial zone.

“With all respect, the Supreme Court is not just a court of law; it is also a court of policy and that is why I’m always defending the judiciary and the Supreme Court. When we violate it, or when we allow it to be violated, there will be trouble.

“If you look at the case of Bello v. Attorney General of Oyo State decided in 1986 by the Supreme Court, you will see the beautiful dictum of great jurists like Oputa, like Kayode Eso.

“It says, ‘And when the apparition of technicality comes out of their graves clanking their manacled legs, you should put them back in the graves where they belong and do substantial justice.

Get New DJ Mixes

“Then you are elevating the issue of form, procedure, of how a case was filed to say a person who did not participate in primaries, who was never voted for by the people will now go and represent the people against a person who was popularly voted for?” 

close button