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Supreme Court declares Duke SDP presidential candidate

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Donald Duke

The Supreme Court, yesterday, upheld the Court of Appeal’s judgment, declaring Donald Duke as the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) presidential candidate.

The judgment was delivered by the Supreme Court presided over by Justices Ejembi Eko, Kudirat Kekere, Amiru Sanusi, Paul Galumje and Uwani Aji.

The court also awarded N3 million in favour of Duke.

The appellate court in January reinstated Duke as the SDP presidential flag bearer after overturning the ruling of the FCT High Court that disqualified him as the party’s flag bearer.

Duke had emerged winner of the party’s primaries conducted in October, after he polled 812 votes to defeat a former minister, 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, 2018, sacked Duke as the SDP flag bearer and declared 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 Gana to be recognised as the authentic flag bearer of the SDP presidential ticket in the 2019 election.

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.


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