The Oasis Reporters
December 14, 2018
Donald Duke must be wondering what hit him, for within a few days of his Vice presidential candidate, Junaid Mohammed quitting the ticket, an FCT High Court sitting in Maitama sacked the flamboyant ex governor of Cross River State and declared a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, as winner of the presidential primary election of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, conducted on October 6.
Duke, a former Governor of Cross River, was declared the winner of the election and its flag bearer for the 2019 election.
According to the party, Duke polled 812 votes while Gana had 611.
Gana challenged the result in court and sought to be declared the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution.
In his judgement on Friday, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed.
According to the judge, 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 region.
“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 waive right over illegality,” he held.
He then declared Gana the winner of SDP presidential primary election.
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 next year’s election.
In the zoning arrangement between the two leading political parties, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressive Congress, both parties sourced their presidential candidates from
the north, who incidentally are both Fulani and both Muslims. The Christian minorities have always been left out.
The Social Democratic Party, SDP became one that projected the hitherto unheard to project themselves. Donald Duke,coming from the South South that just finished five years of presidency before Muhammadu Buhari was seen as greed and insensitivity.
Additional reporting: Daily Post.