Abba Kyari Testifies At President Election Tribunal
The Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, on Tuesday appeared as a defence witness at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja.
Mr Kyari mounted the witness stand as the third witness when President Muhammadu Buhari opened his defence against the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, at the Tribunal.
He said he has been the Chief of Staff to the President since August 27, 2015 and since then, all President Buhari’s addresses to the nation has been in English Language.
The presidential aide also confirmed that all his communication with President Buhari has been in English Language.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Yunus Usman (SAN), asked Mr Kyari to read a Facebook congratulatory message which was written after the President emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.
However, Mr Usman was asked to withdraw the question and he ended his cross-examination of the witness.
Under cross-examination by the counsel to the APC, Mr Lateef Fagbemi, Mr Kyari said he was the one who collected the results from Cambridge.
He added that he has known President Buhari for over 40 years, stressing that he would be able to identify him in photographs when he was younger.
Mr Kyari also agreed with the APC counsel that Adamawa State was a part of Cameroon under the United Nations mandate in those days, saying Atiku Abubakar was born in Jedda in 1946.
When asked if he had read a biography on the PDP’s presidential candidate, the witness said no.
He was then asked if a plebiscite was conducted between Nigeria and Cameroon and he answered in the affirmative.
The presidential aide was also asked if he was aware that Northern Cameroon chose to stay with Nigeria, and he answered in the affirmative.
He was asked if he agrees that Jeda was a part of Northern Cameroon, he said yes.
Mr Kyari also agreed that because of the policy of assimilation, everyone born in Jeda became a citizen of Cameroon.
He was asked to read the congratulatory message written by Mr Atiku Abubakar in 2014 and asked if he (Atiku) was a member of the APC and a presidential aspirant and the witness said yes.
The witness said he is 67 years old and was not a classmate of the President, adding that he never knew Atiku’s grandfather.
He also said no when asked if he personally knew Atiku’s father.
Mr Kyari was then handed Exhibit R 26 – the biodata the President submitted to INEC.
He was asked if President Buhari listed any certificate on the exhibit and he said no certificate was listed.
The witness was also given Exhibit P1 – the President’s resume which he sent to INEC and was asked if any certificate was listed.
He answered that a list of education attained was attached but no certificate was included, adding that he has ever worked in the military.
Mr Kyari was then referred to paragraph seven of his witness deposition.
He was asked that if the diploma he claimed the President had in strategic studies was listed in his CV and the witness said that it was not listed but President Buhari attended the institution.
The witness was then asked if as a person from Borno State if he is a Cameroonian and he said no.
He was also asked if he has any of the certificates of the President in court and he said no but he has an attestation from the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC).
Thereafter, counsel to the petitioners, Mr Levi Uzoukwu reminded Mr Kyari that he answered in court that he was the one who collected the documents from Cambridge.
In his response, the witness said yes, stressing that he collected the documents on July 18, 2019.
When asked if it surprised him that he collected the documents long after the petition was filed and after deposing to his witness statement in April, Mr Kyari said yes.
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