Kogi Tribunal: Confusion as SDP witness contradicts self on alleged 'affidavit forgery'

During the proceedings at the Election Petitions Tribunal concerning the Kogi State governorship election, the testimony of a witness from the Social Democratic Party took an unexpected turn on Thursday. 

The witness' statement conflicted with the documents presented before the Tribunal, causing a stir.

The petitioners, shifting focus from BVAS, relied on their key witness who asserted being absent from Kogi State during the election. Additionally, they accused the All Progressives Congress candidate, now Kogi State Governor, Usman Ododo, of falsifying his age declaration affidavit.

However, the witness, identified as Dan Musa Williams from the FCT High Court in Abuja, initially claimed that the document was not issued by the Court. Yet, under cross-examination, he struggled to support his assertion.

When questioned about verifying the document's authenticity from the registry records, he admitted to only examining the date, assuming it couldn't be genuine due to being a Saturday.

It was, however, found that the "declaration of age" affidavit was sworn in Okene, Kogi State, and not in FCT, but the witness claimed that a lawyer forwarded the one he was talking about to him.

Confusion, however, set in when the witness claimed that he also concluded that the affidavit submitted by the APC candidate was fake because it did not have the name and picture of the deponent on it.

At this point, the attention of the SDP witness was drawn to the fact that the affidavit with INEC, which he also annexed, had both the picture of the deponent and name, and that it was sworn in Okene and not FCT.

The contradictions between what the witness said in court and the documents he (the same witness) presented to the court, seemed to have damaged his testimony beyond repair, as he could not give further defence after the discrepancies were pointed out.

Sitting was thereby adjourned to March 30, 2024 for continuation of hearing.

Pius Akubo, SAN, represented the petitioners, while Kanu Agabi SAN, JB Daudu SAN, and DC Denwigwe SAN represented the Respondents.