Femi Falana, human rights advocate and senior lawyer, says a consensus candidate cannot be imposed on a political party.
Citing sections 84 (9) (10) and (11) of the Electoral Act 2022, Falana said a consensus candidate could not be imposed on a political party by the president of the country or the chairman of a political party, The Cable reported.
“As far as the Electoral Act is concerned, there can be no consensus candidate without the consent of all aspirants,” he said.
On Monday, Abdullahi Adamu, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, announced senate President Ahmad Lawan as the consensus presidential candidate for the party.
The announcement elicited strong disagreement among party members, with the national working committee members opposing his position.
The NWC members said they would align with the governor’s position on the power shift to the southern part of the country.
The SAN speaking further on the position of the law in the APC’s consensus candidate debate, said section 84 (9) (10) and (11) of the Electoral Act 2022 stipulates the conditions under which a political party may adopt a consensus candidate.
Section 84 (9) of the Electoral Act reads: “A political party that adopts a consensus candidate shall secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position, indicating their voluntary withdrawal from the race and their endorsement of the consensus candidate.
Subsection 10 states: “Where a political party is unable to secure the written consent of all cleared aspirants for a consensus candidate, it shall revert to the choice of direct or indirect primaries for the nomination of candidates for the aforesaid elective positions.
Subsection 11 adds: “A special convention or nomination congress shall be held to ratify the choice of consensus candidates at designated centres at the National, State, Senatorial, Federal and State Constituencies, as the case may be.
Today, the ruling party is scheduled to elect its presidential candidate for the 2023 election.