He was born on 30th September 1961, in Annesley Street, Calabar, Cross River, to the family of Henry Etim Duke (longest ever serving Controller General of the Nigerian Customs service) and Mrs Genevieve Etim Duke. He is the fourth child in a family of five children. Duke is married to Owanari Bob Manuel Duke, an accomplished Legal Practitioner in her own right. They are blessed with three children. He also plays Jazz music and holds concerts.
|University of Pennsylvania, United States of America||LL.M (Business Law and Admiralty)||1984|
|Nigerian Law School||BL (Bachelor of Laws)||1983|
|Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State||LL.B||1982|
|Federal School of Arts and Science, Lagos State||A-Level Certificate|
|Federal Government College, (Sokoto State; Kwara State)||West African School Certificate|
|Corona School, Lagos State
St. Mary’s School, Lagos State
|First School Leaving Certificate|
|MISC Nig. Ltd.||Director|
|All Seas Shipping Nig. Ltd||Director|
|Browning and Associates Ltd||Chairman|
|Allied Merchants & Brokers Limited||Chairman|
|Voice of Nigeria||Board of Directors Member||1991|
|Hegeds International Limited||Chief Executive Officer|
|Onyia & Duke, Lagos State||Principal Partner/Founder|
|Baker & Hostetler, Washington, USA||Associate|
30 September 1961
Cross – River State
PDP Peoples Democratic Party
Governor of Cross River State
Duke’s political journey began in 1992 when he was appointed by Governor Clement David Ebri as a member of the Cross River State Executive Council, and the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning. The appointment was however short-lived due to the military intervention of 1993. Duke, therefore, returned to private practice.
Following the return to democracy in 1999, Duke was elected as the Governor of Cross River State, on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party. He held this position until 2007. His 8-year tenure has been recorded as successful, with the emergence of several projects that boosted the economy and image of Cross River State.
In September 2006, BBC reported that Governor Duke was the only governor specifically mentioned as not being under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Duke announced his intent to run for the presidency in the 2007 presidential election but stepped aside in favour of the party’s candidate – Umaru Yar’Adua (who eventually emerged the winner). Again, Duke declared his interest in running for the presidency in 2019. Thus, he defected from the People’s Democratic Party to the Social Democratic Party.
Duke ran for the 2019 presidential elections on the platform of the Social Democratic Party but was unsuccessful.
On Monday, 14th June 2021, Duke was officially welcomed back to the People’s Democratic Party by the party’s leaders after two years of being away.
Awards & Honours
- National Honour Award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON)
- Fellow of International Studies, Georgetown University, Washington DC
- Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law by University of Calabar
- Initiated the Obudu Ranch International Mountain Race
- Upgrading the Cattle Ranch in Obanliku into a Ranch Resort (Obudu Cattle Ranch)
- Transformation of Cross River State into a world tourism destination
- Created a special reserve fund for Cross River State, in order to hedge against economic downturn, and the inevitable rainy day
- Initiated the Calabar Carnival which is popularly referred to as “Africa’s biggest street party.”
- Under his leadership, Calabar was recorded as the cleanest city in Nigeria
- Pioneered the Tinapa Resort Project, a business and leisure resort to boost business and tourism in the state.
- Reformed the Cross River Civil Service
- Established export-oriented agricultural projects for the cultivation of crops
During his presidential campaign in 2018, Duke stated that if he was made president in 2019, he would not criminalize homosexuality, and gay individuals would be protected by the law. He received a lot of backlash on this, as people condemned him for promoting what was described as immorality.