The entire country is now aware of the decision of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja on Friday, 14th December, that nullified the nomination of our Presidential candidate, Donald Duke, and ordered our Party, SDP, to forward the name of Professor Jerry Gana to INEC instead. For the sake of completeness, we quote here the provision of Article 15.3(ii)(2) which the Federal High Court interpreted:
“The Office of the President and National Chairman of the Party shall rotate between the South and North and amongst the six (6) geopolitical zones…”
What we and the overwhelming majority of delegates to our national convention did on Saturday/Sunday, 6th/7th October 2018, was to elect our PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. We did not elect a PRESIDENT, otherwise the only logical consequence of Friday’s Federal High Court decision would be that Professor Jerry Gana be sworn in as President of Nigeria on 29th May 2019.
Therefore, the Court’s decision to declare Professor Jerry Gana as the presidential candidate of the SDP is highly objectionable and does not conform with a simple interpretation of Article 15(3). It is more a political decision that amounts, first, to reading what was never written into our Party Constitution; and, second, to implicitly enshrining the PDP and APC principles of political “zoning” into the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
We have no desire to be part of and we totally reject this constitutional and judicial quagmire now created by the Federal High Court. Very serious issues of constitutional law and statutory interpretation have been unwittingly raised by the decision. This is why we fully support the decision to file an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja and pursue the matter to its logical conclusion.
Considering well-established decisions of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, we consider Friday’s Federal High Court decision to be a miscarriage of justice and an unwarranted intrusion into the internal affairs of the SDP. We are supremely confident that the decision will not stand.
We therefore call on all Party members to stay calm and continue to work hard for the success of all our Party candidates at the 2019 elections, including Donald Duke, who we have no doubt will be restored to his rightful place as the Presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party. Our victory in the Courts and subsequently at the polls is assured.
SDP!!! Progress!!! Progress!!! SDP!!!
Social Democratic Party (SDP)