According to Falana, a consensus candidate cannot be imposed on a political party by the president of the country or the chairman of a political party.
Femi Falana, popular human rights lawyer has given the All Progressives Congress advice on how to get a consensus candidate ahead of the presidential election.
According to the SAN, the Electoral Act 2022 does not permit the imposition of candidates on party members.
For any party to have a consensus candidate, it must obtain a written consent of all cleared aspirants for the position as stipulated in the Electoral Act, Falana submitted.
Thereafter, a special convention is still needed to ratify the emergence of such a consensus candidate.
He said this while reacting to the announcement on Monday by the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Abdullahi Adamu that Senate President Ahmad Lawan has been chosen as the party’s consensus presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
The announcement however met stiff resistance as it was rejected by the members of the APC national working committee (NWC), the Northern Governors and President Muhammadu Buhari himself.
Amidst the saga, some party members said they have last confidence in the leadership of Adamu and called for his resignation as the APC National Chairman.
Reacting, Falana was quoted by the Cable to have said a consensus candidate cannot be imposed on a political party by the president of the country or the chairman of a political party.
Citing sections 84 (9) (10) and (11) of the Electoral Act 2022, he said: “As far as the Electoral Act is concerned, there can be no consensus candidate without the consent of all aspirants.”
To successfully produce a consensus candidate, the Act provides in Section 84 (9) that:: “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 the purpose of 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.”