The 37 state party chairmen of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), including that of the Federal Capital Territory have rejected the Justice Hussein Baba-Yusuf-led court order which declared Prof. Jerry Gana as the presidential candidate of the party.
An FCT High Court had on Friday declared Gana the winner of the presidential primary of the SDP conducted on October 6, over alleged violation of the party’s constitution.
Specifically, the court ruled that SDP’s National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae, and the presidential candidate, Mr Donald Duke, are from the southern part of the country.
Duke had won the October 6 primary with 812 votes, while Gana polled 611, but the former Minister of Information had approached the court to declare him the winner on the grounds of zoning and rotation formula contained in the party’s constitution.
But chairmen, in a statement jointly issued on Saturday by its forum’s Chairman, Oke Idawene and Secretary, Abubakar Dogara, insisted that the embattled Duke remained the presidential candidate of the party for the 2019 elections.
The chairmen said the court’s ruling was an act of gross injustice, unconstitutional, null and void, adding that it will not see the light of the day.
The statement read: “The party shall abide by the unanimous decision taken by the party’s delegates and the mandates of the 36 state chapters and the FCT when they convincingly and overwhelmingly voted for Mr. Donald Duke in the October 6, 2018, national presidential primaries of the party.
“The mandate given to Donald Duke as the party’s presidential candidate is sacred, supreme and so remained sacrosanct as the will and ultimate decision of party members and leadership which no court can abort.”
The forum said it would use all available legal and judicial processes to protect its mandate and ensure that the will of the people prevailed.
“We wish to use this medium to assure the general public, especially party members to remain calm and steadfast in their support and goodwill for the party and its presidential candidate towards the actualisation of the vision of the Party to rescue Nigeria through the 2019 General elections.
“The SDP is working within the ambiance of the law to vacate the order of the Abuja court where Prof Gana is trying to pervert and arrest justice through his unlawful claims.
“Against this backdrop, our legal team has filed an appeal against the order of the High Court at the Appeal Court in Abuja. Therefore, we want to appeal to all party members across the country to continue with their party activities and campaigns with utmost decorum, decency, and orderliness,”
Source: THE PUNCH