Less than three weeks to the Nigeria’s Presidential Election, one of the main opposition parties Social Democratic Party (SDP) is enmeshed in legal battle between two presidential hopefuls within the party. A few minutes ago one of them Prof. Jerry Gana rejected Thursday’s Appeal Court judgment which affirmed former governor of Cross River State,Mr Donald Duke,as the presidential candidate of the party.
Gana said he would be heading to Supreme Court to challenge the ruling of the Appeal Court, which analysts believe would cause great electoral damage to the party’s chances at the polls.
This came as the national chairman of the party,Chief Olu Falae,called on all aggrieved members of the party to bury their differences and support Mr Duke’s presidential ambition.
Gana, addressing the media, Friday,in Abuja, through his campaign organisation,said having carefully weighed the views and options presented by SDP’s stakeholders and supporters across the world,it was his considered opinion that the judgement was erroneous, contradictory and a miscarriage of justice.
Director General, G19 Presidential Campaign Team of Prof. Gana, Dr Ike Neliaku, reading a prepared text before newsmen, said:”Arising from the above and many other lacunas and contradiction in the judgement,we have carefully weighed the views and options presented by our stakeholders and supporters across the world,and resolve to accede to what is in the long term interest of our democracy.
He said:”It is therefore our considered opinion that the judgement of the Court of Appeal is erroneous, contradictory and a miscarriage of justice. ‘
“The decision is therefore not acceptable to us. “Accordingly,our candidate,Prof. Jerry Gana,has resolved to appeal the judgement at the Appeal Court.”
Recalled that Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja declared Donald Duke, a former Governor of Cross River State, as the presidential candidate of the SDP.
The court also set aside an earlier judgment by the Federal High Court that declared Jerry Gana, a former Minister of Information, as the SDP presidential candidate.
Ruling in Abuja on Thursday, the three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki, noted that Gana’s position based on Section 18 of the party’s amended constitution, contravenes the electoral act’s stipulation for a candidate’s validity in any election.
The amendment to the party’s constitution, according to the panel, did not come into effect until October 8, 2018, and that was a few days after Duke had been elected as the party’s presidential candidate.
The court also awarded the sum of N500,000 against Gana.
With the challenge of the Appeal Court at the Supreme Court, the party may have nothing to do ahead of the election again as it’ll be busy with legal battles against each other.
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