The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday affirmed a former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, as the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Mr Duke had emerged winner of the party’s primaries conducted in October, after he polled 812 votes to defeat a former minister, Jerry Ghana, who closely followed with 611 votes.
But a judge of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja, Hussein Baba-Yusuf, on December 14 sacked Mr Duke as the SDP flag bearer and declared Mr Gana as the rightful candidate of the party in the forthcoming election.
Mr Baba-Yusuf said the party’s zoning formula does not allow a presidential candidate to emerge from the same zone, as the chairman of the party.
The court ordered Mr Gana to be recognised as the authentic flag bearer of the SDP presidential ticket in the 2019 election.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the applicants Mr Duke, SDP’s national chairman, Olu Falae; the National Secretary, Shehu Gabam; the Chairman of the party’s Presidential Screening Panel/Deputy National Chairman South of the party, Tunde Adeniran, had approached the appeal court seeking an order to vacate the judgment of the lower court.
They had approached the court based on the grounds that Mr Duke secured a higher number of votes than Mr Gana at the primaries.