An FCT High Court in Maitama on Friday declared a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, the winner of the presidential primary election of the Social Democratic Party conducted on October 6.
Former Governor of Cross River, Mr. Donald Duke, had been declared the winner of the election and its flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election.
But Gana contested the primary in court, seeking to be declared the winner in line with the zoning and rotation formula of the party’s constitution.
The former Information minister had joined SDP, its National Chairman, Olu Falae; National Secretary, Shehu Musa Gabam; Chairman, SDP Presidential Screening Panel/ Deputy National Chairman, South, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; Duke and INEC as defendants in the suit.
In a judgement Friday, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf held that the regulations contained in the party’s constitution were binding on every member and must be obeyed, Punch writes.
He held that 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 zone.
“In this instance, the party’s chairman, 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.
The judge, therefore, declared Gana the winner of SDP presidential primary election conducted on October 6.
He also declared Duke’s 812 votes null and void, and ordered SDP to forward Gana’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the party’s flag bearer for the 2019 presidential election.