• Monday, April 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Contradictions as SDP witnesses testify at Kogi election tribunal

Championing social justice through the judiciary

Testimonies continued at the Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja as four witnesses testified for the petitioners, the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

However, their accounts exhibited similarities despite voting in different polling units, and contradictions emerged during cross-examination that left doubts unresolved.

Danlamin Abaji Yakubu, hailing from Ajaokuta Local Government Area, initially claimed to be an SDP agent during the election but later admitted to losing evidence of his role.

His testimony raised questions about the accuracy of his deposition, compounded by his admission of not knowing key details.

Abdulkareem Muhammed Ogeja, also from Ajaokuta, disclosed his membership in the SDP but failed to indicate it in his deposition.

When he was told to mention the name of his lawyer, the witness said, “His name is my lawyer.”

The Respondents’ lawyer then asked him, “Which language did you use to communicate with your lawyer?” Ogeja said he communicated with his lawyer “in vernacular”.

Emmanuel Ohiare, from Okehi Local Government Area, denied SDP affiliation but alleged irregularities without substantial evidence. His testimony was marked by evasiveness and contradictions, highlighting inconsistencies in his claims.

Abdullahi Musa, from Ajaokuta, admitted he wasn’t present as an agent at his polling unit and couldn’t confirm if the SDP had one. His assertion of irregularities lacked substantiation, further complicating the narrative.

The tribunal adjourned the session to April 4, 2024, for further proceedings. Notably, previous witnesses testified to being voters rather than party agents, underscoring the complexity of the case.

Representatives from various legal teams, including Pius Akubo, SAN, for the petitioners, and Kanu Agabi SAN for the Independent National Electoral Commission, attended the hearing.

The SDP’s challenge to Governor Usman Ododo’s victory in the November 2023 gubernatorial election remains ongoing, with testimonies revealing discrepancies and uncertainties in the electoral process.