More revealing facts, evidence and testimonies have continued to trail the ongoing hearing session on the petition filed by Senator Godswill Akpabio seeking for nullification of election of Dr. Christopher Ekpenyong, as the Senator elect.
National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, on Friday admitted more witnesses on the dock to give testimonies on the National Assembly election conducted in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District on February 23, 2019.
“Wonders they say shall never end”, this has been the experience of witnesses on the dock at the ongoing National Assembly Elections Petition tribunal. Witnesses have informed the tribunal that INEC surprised them with shocking news of cancellation on collated results compiled from their Units and Wards and also alleged that INEC has reproduced new voters register, which they said were not used on election day.
Seven witnesses that testified on Senator Akpabio’s petition told the three-man panel of the tribunal that they are so amazed to hear that collated election results obtained from their units and wards were cancelled by INEC after they were announced at respective pulling units and wards, added that the petitioner, Senator Godswill Akpabio won convincingly from all the units and wards they were collated.
According to one of the Ward Agents in Okon Ward 8 Essien Udim Local Government Area, testified that he was shocked to hear that results he signed at his ward collation centre was cancelled by INEC in Uyo, also insisted that he only hear about cancellation in the court room.
Responding, the lead counsel to the third respondent (INEC), Mr. Efeoluwa Nyoko, Esq. said that the reason why INEC cancelled election results in 17 out of 20 polling units in Okon Ward 8 was because voters resister used for accreditation were not tick, and that INEC believed that there was no accreditation of voters.
“My Lord, it is not true. There was accreditation and our names were tick in my Ward before we were allowed to cast our votes and the same thing was done in other pulling units which our Party agents informed me about. There was no cancellation in my present. I was a Ward collation officer for my Party”. Witness replied Efeoluwa.
Testifying on INEC form EC8B1 for code 06 (Odoro Ikot Ward 6) of 05 registration area, witnessed told the tribunal that he was suprised to hear for the first time inside the tribunal that results in entire 10 polling units in his Ward were cancelled by INEC in Uyo. He further testified that voters register presented to him in the tribunal is far different from the one INEC brought to the area on election day.
“My Lord, these documents tendered here is different from the one INEC gave to us in all the pulling units in Ward 8 in Odoro Ikot, Essien Udim Local Government Area. It is a surprise that INEC gave us photocopied documents. I am surprise that there was original documents. Our names were tick on the voters register they gave to us but this one brought here at the tribunal as evidence by INEC; it unfortunate that our names on the box are not tick”. Witness testified.
The same sad scenario was also experienced in Ukana West Ward 10 and Ukana East Ward 9, both agents discovered at the tribunal that all collated results in 7 and 10 polling units in the two Wards were cancelled by INEC without their knowledge.
They also lament that certified true copy of voters register presented at the tribunal by INEC; their passport and accreditation mark tick on the register at the polling units were not found on the register .
The witnesses also testified that voters register that were used for accreditation on election day was totally roughed, and according to them, was as a result that
ad-hoc staff were opening them consistently for accreditation of voters but they were surprised that what was presented by INEC are new documents.
The lead counsel to the petitioner, Mr. S. I. Amen, SAN was granted June 19 and 20 by the tribunal to present all his witnesses to continue their testimonies.