The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division will on January 15 hear a suit challenging the decision of a High Court which directed the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to recognise former minister, Jerry Gana, as its presidential candidate.
The court of appeal gave the date after parties in the matter confirmed receipt of documents relating to a motion filed by Mr Jerry Gana ’s challenger, Donald Duke, and the SDP.
They are questioning the lower court’s decision which ordered the party to recognise the Niger State politician in November 2018 as the Presidential Candidate of the SDP.
The applicants are asking the court to set aside a decision of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, presided by Hussein Baba-Yusuf, on the grounds that the former Cross River State governor secured higher number of votes than Mr Gana at the SDP primaries conducted in October.
Although the parties present in court confirmed receipt of processes as ordered by the court, a lawyer representing Mr Gana requested time to allow him to access the documents and prepare a response on behalf of the respondent.
The lawyer representing the applicants, Eyitayo Jegede, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, asked the court for a rather short adjournment, but the three-member panel of the court, led by Adamau Jauro, granted the request by Mr Gana’s lawyers for eight days to allow them file their response to the application.
Subsequently, the court adjourned the matter till January 15 for hearing.
Mr Duke had emerged winner of the party’s primaries conducted in October, after he polled 812 votes to defeat Mr Gana who closely followed with 611 votes.
But in its ruling, the FCT High Court in Maitama, Abuja said the party’s zoning formula does not allow a presidential candidate to emerge from the same zone, as the chairman of the party.
Subsequently, the court ordered Mr Jerry Gana to be recognised as the authentic flag bearer of the SDP presidential ticket in the 2019 election.