APC thugs abducted inec adhoc-staff to write results for Akpabio in Akwa Ibom
The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State was on Monday, told how All Progressives Congress (APC) thugs unleashed violence on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adhoc staff, abducted and coerced them to write results in favour of the party and its candidate in the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, who is challenging the victory of Dr. Chris Ekpenyong of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the tribunal, is expected to mount the witness box today, after calling 14 witnesses.
On Monday, his cousin, Ibanga Akpabio who claimed to be the APC agent for the Senatorial District told the tribunal that “he cannot recount the Local Government Areas his party won.”
Ibanga Akpabio, under cross examination by Counsel to the PDP, Solomon Umoh, SAN, was asked as Senatorial Agent, to mentioned the Local Government Areas that his party won in the election.
“Ikot Ekpene and some others that I do not know”, Akpabio, who is also a lawyer answered.
“I put it to you that you lost in all Local Government Areas,” Umoh added.
Counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Robert Emukpoeruo told the tribunal that APC members unleashed violence on INEC adhoc staff, abducted and coerced them into writing results in favour of APC.
Ibanga Akpabio who denied this statement was however drawn to paragraph 11 of his witness statement, where he noted that “…an INEC staff escaped with a phone call and never came back.”
The INEC Counsel told the tribunal that; “To confirm in paragraph 11 of your witness statement that INEC officials were abducted, you said that at final point of collation, he received a phone call and escaped. I put it to you that one can only escape from abduction,” Emukpoeruo submitted
The witness agreed with INEC, that accreditation in an election can only be done with voters’ registers and/or card readers.
INEC Counsel: On the result sheet, column for accreditation has to be collated from card readers and voters’ registers. Do you agree?
INEC Counsel: Is there any other source where this information can be obtained?
INEC Counsel: Where polling unit results contained in a result is not obtainable from number of accredited voters on smart card readers and voters’ registers, the result is invalid. Do you agree?
INEC Counsel: I put it to you that 7 out of 11 wards of Essien Udim LGA, there is no record of accreditation.
Despite argument from Sunday Ameh, Counsel to Senator Godswill Akpabio, INEC presented polling unit results, where witness agreed that results of Ukana West 1, 2 and IKpe Annang were non existent.
INEC Counsel: From INEC Forms P420-P530, I put it to you that there are no polling unit results for Ukana West 1, Ukana west 2 and Ikpe Annang.
Akpabio: They are not here. We asked our lawyer to apply to INEC but it is like we have not gotten them.
INEC Counsel: My Lord, the witness should be given time to look at the documents.
Tribunal Chairman: If the witness agrees that they are not there, there is no point wasting our time.
Akpabio, after examining the documents agreed that there were no results for Ukana West 1, Ukana West 2 and Ikpe Annang.
Counsel to INEC, who brought the voters registers P489-508 and results sheets P544 for Okon Ward argued with Ibanga Akpabio that; “all results you have on P544 are entries that do not reflect P489-P508.”
“It is faint and I cannot see,” Ibanga Akpabio stated.
“I therefore put it to you that if you add all those results, your party is still the loser,” Emukpoeruo submitted