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SDP Presidential Ticket Tussle: Appeal Court Reserves Judgment


The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday reserved judgment in the appeal seeking to set aside the judgment of an Abuja High Court which declared former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana, as the authentic flagbearer of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2019 presidential election.
The three man panel of the Court of Appeal reserved judgment in the appeal filed by former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, after counsel representing parties in the suit adopted and argued their written addresses.
The panel however, said date for its judgment in the suit would be communicated to parties.
Following the voiding of his victory at the SDP Presidential Primary Election last October by a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Duke had approached the appellate court to reverse the decision of the lower court.
Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of the FCT High Court in Maitama, had on December 15, 2018, sacked Duke as Presidential candidate of the SDP.
Duke had won the SDP presidential primary with a total of 812 votes and was declared winner and candidate of the SDP but Gana, however challenged the victory of Duke on the grounds that he ought not to have participated in the presidential primary of the SDP.
Gana had in his suit urged the court to void Duke’s emergence and declare him (Gana) as authentic candidate of the SDP in the 2019 presidential election on the grounds that Duke’s participation contravened the party’s principle of zoning.
In his judgment, Justice Baba-Yusuf agreed with Gana that the emergence of the former Governor of Cross River State as Presidential candidate of the SDP violated the zoning and rotation formula provided in section 15(3) of the party’s constitution.
He subsequently voided the election of Duke and declared the former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana as the authentic presidential candidate of the party ahead of the 2019 elections.Y
Not satisfied with the judgment, Duke through his counsel approached the court of appeal in Abuja to reverse that decision.

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