Tribunal Sets New Date for Kogi Gubernatorial Election Petition

The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja on Saturday, adjourned until April 1 for the continuation of the hearing.

The three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, fixed the date after six witnesses of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) gave their evidence and were cross-examined by the defence counsel.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that upon resumed hearing, the six witnesses gave testimonies contrary to their depositions on oath and confirmed that they were not polling agents as stipulated by law, but voters.

In his evidence, Yakubu Dahiru, the 10th prosecution witness, who was confronted with the contradictions between his claims and depositions during cross-examination, said he was suffering from an eye problem and could not see for about a year.

However, Dahiru claimed to have written his witness deposition.

Another witness, Isah AbdulGaniu from Okene Local Government Area, who told the tribunal that he was a fashion designer, said he was neither a member of the SDP nor a polling agent, denying knowledge of Form DCE-41, which was part of his deposition.

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While some of the witnesses denied averments in their depositions, some claimed they made mistakes when it was found during cross-examination that what they said in court was different from what they submitted.

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Some of the witnesses said they dictated the statement to their lawyers and later crammed it before coming to the tribunal.

Even though their petitions showed the names of the petitioners, petition numbers and lawyers’ names, some of them interestingly claimed that they did not know the petitioners and their lawyers. The testimonies of the six witnesses were similar but contradictory.

After the 6th witness concluded his evidence, the petitioners’ lawyer, Pius Akubo, SAN, sought an adjournment.

The tribunal consequently adjourned until April 1 for the continuation of the hearing.

While Kanu Agabi, SAN, represented the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alex Iziyon, SAN, represented Governor Usman Ododo, Abdulwahab Muhammed, SAN, appeared for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The witnesses from Okene Local Government Area, who testified, were: Isa Abdulganiyu, Aliyu Musari Abdul, Ohieku Rebeka, Abdulsalam Baki, Yakubu Dahiru and Ibrahim Majeed.


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