Supreme Court affirms Donald Duke as SDP candidate for 2019 presidential election

former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke
former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke

Over a months after the presidential election was concluded, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has affirmed the candidacy of one of the candidates, former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke.

The court ruled that Mr Duke was the authentic candidate of the Social Democratic Party in the February 23 election.

The court affirmed the ruling earlier granted by the Court of appeal, Abuja division, which nullified a ruling against Mr Duke’s candidacy at the Federal High Court.

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 flagbearer and declared a former minister, Jerry Gana, as the candidate of the party in the election.

Mr Duke and his faction challenged the ruling in court and was reinstated in January.

Following that reinstatement, Mr Gana approached the Supreme Court to contest the ruling

In a ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court awarded a fine of N3 million in favour of Mr Duke, against Mr Gana.

“The judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court presided over by Justices Ejembi Eko, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Amiru Sanusi, Paul Galumje and Uwani Aji,” the Punch newspaper reported.

Although the SDP participated in the February 23 elections, the party was not among the first five candidates with the highest scores.

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