• Monday, April 22, 2024
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I wasn’t in Kogi during governorship election – SDP’s witness tells tribunal

Meet the 3 major contenders in Kogi guber election: Melaye, Ododo, Ajaka

The Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) star witness in the Kogi State governorship election case told the Election Petition Tribunal that he was not present in Kogi State on the election day.

The witness, a data analyst for the Independent National Electoral Commission, disclosed this information during his cross-examination, following his initial testimony at the Tribunal.

Abdulmalik Njidda, the witness, had provided testimony about the election in Kogi State, focusing on the BVAS machines used across several local government areas.

During cross-examination by the legal representatives of the governor of Kogi State, the APC, and INEC, he stated that he was in Imo State for another election on the same date.

He acknowledged that he did not visit any of the polling units in question on election day, nor did he operate the BVAS machines he later examined for the tribunal.

He further admitted that he had no election-related duties in Kogi State on that day and was not familiar with the operation of the BVAS machines presented in court.

Regarding the BVAS machines’ serial numbers, the witness confirmed his lack of knowledge and stated that the machines he demonstrated in court were not the complete set used in the election.

The witness seemed to avoid certain questions from the defense lawyers.

Kanu Agabi, SAN, represented INEC; Alex Izinyon, SAN, represented Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo; and E.C. Ukala, SAN, represented the APC.

The witness clarified that the responsibility of operating BVAS machines at polling units, including capturing Form EC8A and transmitting results, belonged to the presiding officers.

He mentioned that not all BVAS machines he showed in court contained Form EC8A, and he could not identify which ones did.

The tribunal proceedings indicated that the testimony of the INEC data analyst, a crucial witness for the SDP and its candidate, was compromised.

Efforts by the petitioner’s counsel, J.S.Okutepa, SAN, to repair the witness’s testimony were met with objections from the defense, which the Tribunal upheld based on legal grounds.