BREAKING: Trouble for Donald Duke’s ambition as court declares Jerry Gana SDP candidate

An FCT High Court in Maitama has declared a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, as the winner of the October 6 Presidential primary election of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and ordered the party to forward Gana’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election.

In his judgement on Friday, trial judge, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf in nullifying the election of Donald Duke as the SDP flag bearer for the 2019 General Elections held that the zoning and rotation formula as contained in Article 15(3) of the SDP Constitution, stipulated that both the Chairman of the party and the flag bearer should not come from the same zone, hence the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed.

The former Information Minister who lost out to Duke in the party primary 611 – 812 votes had dragged the former Cross River Governor and the party to court seeking that it would declare him the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution, as well as a perpetual injunction restraining him from parading himself as the SDP presidential candidate for the elections, among other reliefs.

“In this instance, the party’s Chairman, Chief Olu Falae, is from the South and Duke is from the South too; the law is clear; there is nothing to write in-between.

“The law has crystallised that political parties should abide by the regulations which they have made by themselves.

“The claimant laid sufficient evidence to have the judgment in his favour; it is a clear violation of the party’s constitution; the court cannot wave right over illegality,” he held.

The judge, therefore, declared Gana the winner of SDP presidential primary election conducted on Oct. 6 and ordered that Duke stops parading himself as the party’s flag bearer for the elections, having declared his 812 votes null and void.

 

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