JUST IN: Appeal Court Declares Donald Duke Presidential Candidate Of SDP
The Appeal Court has upturned the judgement of the Federal High Court and declared Donald Duke as the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party.
The Appeal Court has declared Donald Duke presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Duke had been declared as the presidential candidate of the party after the primary election held in October 2018 in which Mr Gana was also an aspirant.
However, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had on Friday, December 14 declared Jerry Gana, a former Nigerian Minister of Information, as the presidential candidate of the SDP.
This was after Gana had instituted a case against the result in court, basing his case on the zoning and rotation formula of the party.
In his judgement, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed.
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He held that the zoning and rotation formula as contained in the party’s constitution stipulated that both the chairman of the party and the flag bearer should not come from the same zone.
“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.
He also declared Duke’s 812 votes null and void and ordered SDP to forward Gana’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election.
In addition, he ordered that Duke should stop parading himself as the party’s flag bearer for the election.
Duke, however, approached the appellate court to appeal the judgement.
The court in its ruling on Thursday upturned the judgement of the Federal High Court and declared Duke as the winner of the primary having scored the highest number of votes in the party's primaries.