Donald Duke Sacked As SDP Presidential Candidate
An FCT High Court in Maitama on Friday declared a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, winner of the presidential primary election of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) conducted on October 6.
The party had declared a former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, winner of the election and its flag bearer for the 2019 General Elections.
The party said Duke got 812 votes while Gana had 611. So what changed?
However, Gana went to court seeking that it should declare him the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution.
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.
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,”
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 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 elections.
Gana had joined SDP, its National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae; National Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Musa Gabam; Chairman, SDP Presidential Screening Panel/ Deputy National Chairman, South, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; Duke and INEC as defendants in the suit.