The fate of President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan in respect of the upcoming 2023 general elections might have been sealed as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) excluded his name from the list of validly nominated senatorial candidates released on Tuesday.
Also, the name of Bashir Machina, who is Lawan’s rival in the Yobe North Senatorial District ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was also missing on the list.
According to the list, a total of 1,101 candidates from the 18 registered political parties are vying for the 109 senatorial seats while 3,122 candidates are contesting for the 360 seats in the House.
This makes it the second time INEC will exclude Lawan’s name from its list of validly nominated senatorial candidates contesting in 2023. The electoral commission had initially left Lawan out of the list released in June on the grounds that there were questions regarding how the incumbent Senate President emerged as the winner of the APC’S Yobe North Senatorial District ticket.
It would be recalled that Lawan contested for the presidential ticket of the APC, coming 4th behind the winner, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Rotimi Amaechi and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Also recall Bashir Sheriff Machina had been declared the winner of the APC senatorial ticket for the Yobe North Senatorial District after scoring 289 votes at the primary election supervised by the INEC.
But the leadership of the APC forwarded the name of the senate president to INEC. This later degenerated into a court case as Machina had insisted that he remains the validly nominated senatorial candidate of the APC in the district.
On the other hand, former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has been included in the list released by INEC having been left out initially.
The development came after was the Federal High Court in Abuja, last week, ordered INEC to recognise Akpabio as the candidate of the APC for the Akwa Ibom North-West District in the 2023 elections.