A soldier attached to 82 Division, Enugu, told the state and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal that a lawmaker, Chukwuemeka Ujam, was caught with 4,000 permanent voters cards on election day.
The soldier said Mr. Ujam was intercepted at Ozalla, on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway on March 28 while the election was going on.
“He identified himself as a staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission and we asked him to open the booth of his vehicle where we discovered two cartons filled with the cards,” he said.
The soldier said that his team took Mr. Ujam with the exhibits to their commander who tried to make some contacts to his superiors to ascertain their next line of action.
“As our boss was trying to call his superior, another call came in and ordered that we release the man with the cartons of cards immediately.
“We obeyed the order and one of our vehicles escorted Ujam with the exhibits to where I did not know,” he said.
The soldier said that he would not disclose where the order to release Ujam came from for security purposes.
Another witness, Elochukwu Nwankwo, who was the constituency agent for the petitioner, said he got wind of the incident through a phone call from one ward agent.
Mr. Nwankwo said that he was not at the scene when the first respond was allegedly caught with the exhibits.
“When I got to the scene, I saw Ujam sitting on the ground with the two cartons of voters cards placed beside him,” he said.
Mr. Nwankwo said he reported the incident to the police station at Ozalla three days after the election due to the exigencies of the period.
The matter was adjourned to August 27 for continuation of trial.
Mr. Ujam resigned his position as a commissioner in the state to contest the election and was declared winner.
The petition against the Peoples Democratic Candidate, Mr. Ujam, was instituted by Nnolim Nnaji of the People for Democratic Change.
Mr. Ujam represents Nkanu East/Nkanu West Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.