Supreme Court adjourns Gana’s appeal against SDP, Duke till after elections

Jerry Gana

The Supreme Court has adjourned till February 26 the hearing of an appeal filed by a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, challenging an Appeal Court ruling which upheld Donald Duke as the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

A Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, had on January 24 ruled in favour of Mr Duke as the party’s presidential flagbearer.

However, hearing on the case at the Supreme Court was stalled on Thursday due to lack of proper service of the hearing notice on parties who were absent from the proceedings.

Only the counsel of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was present in court. INEC is the sixth of six respondents in the case.

Gana and a host of his supporters were present in court.

The Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, who led a five-man panel of the court, said the court’s records showed that the respondents were absent from court because they were not served with hearing notice for Thursday’s proceedings.

In response, INEC’s lawyer said he was not opposed to the application for adjournment.

Gana’s lawyer, however, objected and prayed the court to hear the case regardless.

The Acting CJN then refused to hold hearing. He said: “If we take your application, what are we going to tell the other parties as the reason for hearing this application behind them? What will they think of us?”

The panel then adjourned the case till February 26.