Tribunal: Ekere Tenders More Critical And Culpable Exhibits, Sets Fear And Worry To Udom.

As Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal marked her 7th sitting yesterday, 6th July, 2019, As it is customary, the Tribunal Chairman, Justice M. A. Yakubu acknowledged the presence of parties upon mentioning the case for hearing. Thereafter, lead counsels to the parties announced their appearance respectively. J. S. Okutepa (SAN) appeared together with Prof. Ernest Ojukwu (SAN), Victor Iyanam (Esq.) and 15 others for the Petitioners. Harrison Okoro (Esq.) announced appearance with Assam Assam Jnr. (Esq,) and others for 1st Respondents. Uko Udom (SAN) entered appearance for 2nd Respondent along with David Amah (Esq.), Samuel Akpabio (Esq.) and others. Dr. Solomon Eyelanye, Prince Nwafor and Mercy Aboh announced appearance for 3rd Respondent.

Beginning the day’s proceedings counsel to Petitioner, J. S. Okutepa (SAN) informed the Tribunal he was ready to commence tendering for admission by the Tribunal Certified True Copies (CTC) of Voters Register in Uruan Local Government where he stopped the previous day. With leave of the Tribunal Counsel proceeded to tender CTC of voters register for (1) Uruan LGA consisting of 11 registration centres and 88 polling units. The documents were tendered, admitted and marked as PT 1995 – 2082.

It was in like manner that counsel proceeded to tender documents for admission and marking by the Tribunal for the following local governments.

  1. Urue Offong/Oruko LGA

No of Registration centres 9, No of polling units 45. CTC of Voters Register for 9 registration centres and 45 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PT 2083 – PT 2127.

  1. Uyo LGA

No of Registration centres 12, No of polling units 192. CTC of Voters Register for 12 registration centres and 192 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PT 2128 – PT 2319.

Counsel to Petitioner drew the attention of the Tribunal to the fact that CTC records of voters’ register in some local government areas were muddled up at INEC so that records of certain LGs were found in another. Counsel appealed to the Tribunal to allow him tender the missing information thus;

  1. Etim Ekpo LGA – 5 polling units of ward 4
  2. Essien Udim LGA – 1 polling unit of ward 2
  3. Ikot Abasi LGA – 4 polling units of ward 4
  4. Ukanafun LGA – 2 polling units of ward 2

Tribunal noted the observation of counsel and granted him leave to plead the order of Tribunal to tender for admission the hitherto misplaced CTC documents. This done, the Tribunal accordingly admitted the CTC of 5 polling units in ward 4 of Etim Ekpo LGA and marked them as PT2320 – 2324. One (1) polling unit in Essien Udim ward 2 was admitted and marked PT 2325. Four (4) polling units in ward 4 of Ikot Abasi was admitted and marked as PT 2326 -2329 while two (2) polling units in ward 2 of Ukanafun LGA was admitted and marked as PT 2330 -2331. And so, concluded the admission and marking by the Tribunal of CTC of Voters register tendered as exhibits by petitioner’s counsel.

Petitioner’s Counsel thereafter proceeded to tender CTC of Form EC8A for 28 Local Governments. Starting from Abak LGA Petitioner’s counsel sought the order of the Tribunal to tender CTC of Form EC8A for admission and marking by stating number of registration centres and pulling units in the local government. Number of documents tendered were publicly counted and confirmed before admission and marking by the Tribunal.

  1. Abak LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 108. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 108 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1 – PTA 108.

  1. Eastern Obolo LGA No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 50. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 50 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 109 – PTA 158.
  2. Eket LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 92. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 92 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 159 – PTA 250.

  1. Esit Eket LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 50. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 50 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 251 – PTA 300.

  1. Essien Udim LGA

No of Registration centres 2, No of polling units 19. CTC of Form EC8A for 2 registration centres and 19 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 301 – PTA 319.

  1. Etim Ekpo LGA

No of Registration centres 7, No of polling units 38. CTC of Form EC8A for 7 registration centres and 38 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 320 – PTA 357.

  1. Ibesikpo/Asutan LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 100. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 100 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 358 – PTA 457.

  1. Ibiono Ibom LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 152. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 152 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 458 – PTA 609.

  1. Ika LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 56. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 56 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 610 – PTA 665.

  1. Ikono LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 119. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 119 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 666 – PTA 784.

  1. Ikot Abasi LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 56. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 56 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 785 – PTA 840.

  1. Ikot Ekpene LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 99. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 99 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 841 – PTA 939.

  1. INI LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 78. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 78 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 940 – PTA 1017.

  1. Itu LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 91. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 91 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1018 – PTA 1108.

  1. Mbo LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 53. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 53 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1109 – PTA 1161.

  1. Nsit Atai LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 71. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 71 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1162 – PTA 1232.

  1. Nsit Ibom LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 63. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 63 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1233 – PTA 1295.

  1. Nsit Ubiom LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 83. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 83 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1296 – PTA 1378.

  1. Obot Akara LGA No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 71. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 71 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1379 – PTA 1449.
  2. Okobo LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 76. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 76 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1450 – PTA 1525.

  1. Onna LGA

No of Registration centres 12, No of polling units 128. CTC of Form EC8A for 12 registration centres and 128 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1526 – PTA 1653.

  1. Oron LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 60. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 60 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1654 – PTA 1713.

  1. OrukAnam LGA

No of Registration centres 13, No of polling units 144. CTC of Form EC8A for 13 registration centres and 144 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1714 – PTA 1857.

  1. Udung Uko LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 38. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 38 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1858 – PTA 1895.

  1. Ukanafun LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 94. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 94 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1896 – PTA 1989.

  1. Uruan LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 69. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 69 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 1990 – PTA 2058.

  1. Urue Offong/Oruko LGA

No of Registration centres 10, No of polling units 45. CTC of Form EC8A for 10 registration centres and 45 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 2059 – PTA 2103.

  1. Uyo LGA

No of Registration centres 11, No of polling units 172. CTC of Form EC8A for 11 registration centres and 172 polling units tendered by Petitioner and admitted seriatim as Exhibit PTA 2104 – PTA 2275.

J. S. Okutepa (SAN), Counsel to Petitioner notified the court that INEC released CTC of Forms EC8A for 28 instead of the expected 31 local governments. He also mentioned that INEC released only 19 number CTC of forms EC8A from 2 wards in Essien Udim LG rather than the expected number.

Upon completion of the process, respondent counsel appealed to the Tribunal for adjournment to Monday, 8th pre-empting the Tribunal from going and returning on break to continue proceedings as expected. His appeal/application was predicated on health grounds for which there was no objection from Respondents. Tribunal Chairman granted counsel’s request and accordingly adjourned proceedings to Monday 8th July 2019.

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