Posted by Sunday Ejike, Abuja | 15 January 2019 | 912 times
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Tuesday reserved judgment in the appeal seeking to set aside the judgment of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory which declared former information minister, Prof. Jerry Gana, the winner of the presidential primary election of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) conducted in October last year.
The court reserved the date after parties in the appeal adopted their briefs.
On a date that will be communicated to parties in the matter, the appellate court will decide who is the authentic flagbearer of the SDP, between Prof Gana and the former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, who is challenging his nullification as the presidential candidate of the party by the trial court.
Sole Olanipekun (SAN), who represented former governor Duke and the counsel to Prof. Gana, Pius Akubu (SAN), while commending the Court of Appeal for accelerated hearing of the appeal, expressed optimism that justice would finally prevail in the matter.
A three-member panel of the appellate court had on December 31, 2018, ordered service of the court processes on the respondents through substituted means and adjourned to January 3, 2019, for the report of service.
Duke had approached the Court of Appeal to reverse the decision of the lower court which held that he was not the authentic candidate of the SDP for the 2019 presidential election having emerged from a process said to be contrary to the party’s provision for the primary election.
However, presiding Judge, Justice Adamu Jauro, having established the urgency of the appeal gave the first respondent eight days to reply to the appellant’s brief while he ordered the appellant to reply within three days and adjourned till January 15, 2019, for the hearing of the substantive suit filed by Donald Duke.
Gana had in his suit filed at the lower court challenged the emergence of Duke as the presidential flagbearer of the SDP in the 2019 general elections on the grounds that it contravened the party’s principle of zoning.
Delivering judgment on Gana’s suit, Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf of an Abuja High Court had on December 15, 2018, sacked Duke as Presidential candidate of the SDP.
The judge held that the emergence of the former governor of Cross River State as Presidential candidate violated the zoning and rotation formula provided in section 15(3) of the party’s constitution.
He subsequently declared Jerry Gana as the authentic presidential candidate of the party ahead of the 2019 elections.
Not satisfied with the judgment, Duke through his counsel approached the court of appeal in Abuja to reverse the lower court’s decision.
•Sourced from a Tribune report
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