The Social Democratic Party is still yet to have a ‘standard flag bearer’ of the party in the forthcoming presidential election. This is because the tussle for the presidential candidature between former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke and Jerry Gana seem to have no end yet as the Prof. Jerry Gana Presidential Campaign Team has moved to challenge the verdict given by the appeal court confirming Donald Duke as the rightful presidential candidate of the SDP.
Recall that,a New SDP Presidential Candidate Unveiled in Court.
At a press conference on Friday, the Prof. Jerry Gana Presidential Campaign Team spokesperson in Abuja described the judgment of the appeal court as unacceptable and a miscarriage of justice.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja division, in a unanimous decision of the panel, on Thursday recognised Duke at the party’s presidential candidate.
The three-man panel of the appellate court in a judgment delivered by Justice Abdul Aboki on the appeal filed by Duke reversed the earlier judgment of an Abuja High Court which upheld Gana as the party’s candidate.
Neliaku, who said that the team’s confidence in God and the avowed integrity of the judiciary remained intact, however, raised some concerns about the judgment.
The concern according to him include the role played by the party’s National Chairman, Chief Olu Falae, and what he termed as “obviously unfair and skewed composition of the Appeal Court panel.’’
He said that while the chairman had earlier expressed optimism that the judgment was going to be in favour of Duke, he also alleged that two of the panel Justices came from “the home states of either Duke or his running mate.’’
“We were utterly shocked, dumbfounded and dismayed when the appellant lead Counsel thanked the Justices for their adventure into other matters not canvassed by the parties in the Appeal. This absurdity is one of its kind! ‘
“Arising from the above and many other lacunas and contradictions in the judgment, we have carefully weighed the views and options presented by our stakeholders and supporters across the world, and resolved to accede to what is in the long term interest of our democracy.
“It is therefore our considered opinion that the judgment of the Court of Appeal is erroneous, contradictory and a miscarriage of justice. The decision is therefore not acceptable to us.
“Accordingly, our candidate, Gana, has resolved to appeal the judgment at the Supreme Court.
“We believe that, apart from setting the records straight and clarifying matters of Constitutional Order, this will strengthen our electoral law, enrich our jurisprudence, as well as deepen and widening our democracy.’’