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Drama unfolded at the Kogi State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja today, as witnesses called by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) disowned their previous depositions before the panel.

Four individuals from Adavi Local Government Area provided testimony, claiming discrepancies in the voting process during the November 11, 2023, governorship poll.


Despite initially affirming their witness depositions, the witnesses contradicted themselves during cross-examination by the defense counsel, distancing themselves from the content of their sworn statements.

They asserted that their depositions were not authored by them and admitted they were not polling agents but ordinary voters.

Rufai Muhammed, one of the witnesses, initially stated in his deposition that there were no validly accredited voters during the election.

However, under scrutiny, he claimed to have been validly accredited and voted, disowning his earlier statement.

Another witness, Yakubu AbdulAzeez, alleged over-voting from a fixed observation point during the election but could not stand during the tribunal hearing due to a leg problem since 2008.

Hamza Abdul Azeez, who wrote a complaint letter to the tribunal alleging over-voting, failed to provide specific vote counts for each political party in his polling unit when questioned.

The witnesses attributed their deposition statements to their lawyers but were unable to recall their lawyers’ names.

The tribunal adjourned the matter until April 2 following a request for adjournment by Jibrin Okutepa, SAN.

Legal representatives for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Usman Ododo, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) were present at the sitting.

The testimonies of Hamza Abdul Azeez, Said Muhammed, Yakubu Abdul Azeez, and Rufai Muhammed from Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi shed light on the ongoing challenge by the SDP against Governor Ododo’s victory in the 2023 governorship election.

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