Kogi Guber: SDP witness fumble, confused at Tribunal

Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo and Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka

Kogi Guber: SDP witness fumble, confused at Tribunal

Renewed drama has surfaced in the ongoing Kogi State Governorship Elections Petition Tribunal holding in Abuja, where the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and it’s defeated Governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu (Ajaka) presented a witness to testify in relations to an affidavit of age Declaration allegedly obtained from Grade 2 Area Court Okene in 2003.

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The witness, whose qualifications and jurisdiction were questioned, was unable to provide substantial testimony against His Excellency Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo. Critics pointed out that the witness lacked the necessary expertise in judicial proceedings and procedures.

Citing the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, legal experts highlighted that the date of the affidavit, August 2, 2003, fell within juridical days, validating the authenticity of the age declaration documents. They further emphasized that even on non-juridical days like Sundays and public holidays, agreements between the applicant and the issuing court could facilitate the issuance of such documents in urgent cases.

Moreover, the geographical disparity between Okene and Abuja courts raised eyebrows, with observers questioning the rationale behind summoning a witness from a different jurisdiction altogether.

Commenting on the matter, legal practitioners expressed incredulity at the witness’s testimony, emphasizing the impracticality of expecting someone from the FCT High Court to testify on a document originating from Okene Grade 2 Court.

The recurring theme of inappropriate witnesses resurfaced, with mention of a previous incident where an SDP witness, purportedly reviewing BVA machines, lacked eligibility and was absent during the Kogi Governorship Elections of November 11, 2023.

The issue, previously raised and dismissed for lack of merit, was deemed a pre-election matter with no grounds for consideration at the Election Petition Tribunal. Quoting section 36(3) of the CFRN, legal experts clarified that courts could convene anywhere accessible to the public, yet proceedings were only valid on juridical days.

Furthermore, the principle of Res Judicata was invoked, suggesting that bringing a conclusively tried matter before a court again would lead to its dismissal.

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As the saga unfolded, speculation mounted that SDP and Muri Ajaka might face penalties for wasting the tribunal’s time with frivolous claims, underscoring the importance of judicial efficiency and adherence to legal norms in electoral processes.

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