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Election Tribunal in Kogi State Takes Intriguing Turn: Witnesses Contradict Own Testimonies

In a dramatic turn of events at the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, the hearing was adjourned until April 1 after a series of revelations that left many in attendance stunned. The three-member panel of justices, led by the esteemed Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, made the decision following the testimonies of six witnesses from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who took the stand.

The witnesses, who were expected to provide crucial evidence in the ongoing case, instead shocked the courtroom by contradicting their own sworn testimonies. It was revealed during cross-examination that these individuals, initially presented as polling agents, were in fact ordinary voters with no official capacity in the electoral process.

One of the witnesses, Yakubu Dahiru, the 10th prosecution witness, admitted to discrepancies in his statements, citing vision impairment as a reason for his confusion. Despite claiming to have authored his witness deposition, Dahiru faltered under scrutiny, raising doubts about the accuracy of his testimony.

Similarly, Isah AbdulGaniu, a self-professed fashion designer from Okene Local Government Area, disavowed any affiliation with the SDP or involvement as a polling agent, casting doubt on the veracity of his earlier claims. His lack of familiarity with Form DCE-41, a key document in the case, further muddied the waters of his testimony.

The courtroom was abuzz with disbelief as more witnesses came forward to recant or amend their previous statements. Some attributed the discrepancies to errors or lapses in memory, while others confessed to relying heavily on their legal representatives for guidance in preparing their depositions.

Adding to the intrigue, several witnesses professed ignorance regarding the identity of the petitioners and their legal counsels, despite their names being clearly listed in the documents submitted to the tribunal. These revelations raised questions about the authenticity and integrity of the evidence presented thus far.

As the testimonies unfolded, a sense of unease permeated the proceedings, culminating in a request for an adjournment by the petitioners’ lawyer, Pius Akubo, SAN. The tribunal acceded to this request, setting the stage for a continuation of the hearing on April 1.

Notable legal luminaries graced the courtroom, with Kanu Agabi, SAN, representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alex Iziyon appearing for Governor Usman Ododo, and Abdulwahab Muhammed, SAN, standing in for the All Progressives Congress (APC). Their presence underscored the significance of the case and the high stakes involved in the outcome.

The testimonies of the witnesses from Okene Local Government Area, including Isa Abdulganiyu, Aliyu Musari Abdul, Ohieku Rebeka, Abdulsalam Baki, Yakubu Dahiru, and Ibrahim Majeed, painted a complex and contradictory picture of the events surrounding the Kogi State gubernatorial election.

As the tribunal prepares to reconvene and unravel the intricacies of the case, the public awaits further developments with bated breath. The twists and turns of this legal saga have captured the attention of many, underscoring the importance of transparency and accountability in the electoral process.

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