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Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State, alongside the All Progressives Congress (APC), is set to commence their defense on April 15th at the state’s governorship election tribunal in Abuja, countering the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka.

The tribunal, chaired by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, scheduled this date following the closure of the SDP’s case after presenting 25 witnesses out of an initial 400.


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will also present its defense with two witnesses.

The SDP and Ajaka contest Governor Ododo’s victory in the November 11, 2023 poll, listing INEC, Ododo, and APC as respondents.

However, during the recent proceedings, objections arose when Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, attempted to lead witness Edidiong Udoh, a Digital Forensic Expert, in evidence.

Lawyers representing INEC, Governor Ododo, and the APC raised concerns regarding the witness not being listed in the proof of evidence and the late submission of the witness’ analysis reports.

Despite Okutepa’s insistence that the witness was listed in the petition and the report was front-loaded, objections were raised.

Udoh, the digital forensic expert, requested to amend a statement on oath but faced opposition from the respondents’ lawyers.

They argued against such amendments, and the tribunal advised them to raise their objections in their final written addresses.

During cross-examination, Udoh disclosed that he led a team of seven experts in conducting the analysis, but objections were raised regarding the inclusion of their names and signatures in the report.

The witness clarified that as the team leader, he signed the report, which did not depend on SDP’s petition.

Discrepancies emerged regarding figures in the witness’ report conflicting with those in SDP’s petition. Despite this, Udoh maintained the independence of his report from the petition’s figures.

Additionally, questions were raised about Udoh’s familiarity with the term “dactylography,” which he associated with fingerprint analysis, despite it not being included in his curriculum vitae.

The tribunal admitted Udoh’s certificates as exhibits despite objections from the respondents’ lawyers, who questioned the authenticity of photocopies and the absence of original documents.

As the defense prepares to present its case, the tribunal continues to navigate through legal arguments and evidentiary challenges in the ongoing electoral dispute.

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