A defence witness at the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, Bassey Willie, admitted on Friday that he signed all the result sheets for Oron Local Government Area of the state during the April 11 governorship poll.
Willie, who said this during his testimony, is one of the defence witnesses for Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, of the Peoples Democratic Party, whose victory at the April poll is being challenged by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Umana Umana, at the tribunal, which sits in Abuja.
Willie said the result sheets were signed by one agent due to the inability of other wards collation agents to get to the Local Government Collation Centre because the engine of the boat, conveying them to the collation centre, developed a fault.
He admitted that he was the Local Government Collation Agent, adding that he signed the result sheets for Ward 4, even though one Elder Effiong Atanang was the PDP Ward 4 agent.
Atanang had, however, claimed that he signed the Ward 4 result sheet.
Willie, during cross examination, also told the tribunal that election results could be collated outside the ward collation centres “as was the case in Oron”.
He explained that lightning and security issue made it impossible for election results to be collated at designated collation centres, saying the collation was done elsewhere with the support of security agents and INEC officials.
Another witness, a former PDP state chairman, Uwem Etuk, during cross examination, told the respondent’s counsel, Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), that “if anyone says no election took place in the area, then INEC should be told to answer for it”.
Counsel for INEC, Obinna Onyia, declined cross examining the witness.
Mr. Jude Edet, a witness and the Local Government collation agent for Ibesikpo Asutan, said it was wrong for Dr. Ita Udosen and former governor Victor Attah to have testified that there was no election in the area.
Denying knowing the names of other PDP ward agents in the area, he, however, admitted that it was wrong for total votes cast to be higher than total number of accredited voters.
He said such a development amounted to fraud.
“Ghost can’t vote,” he added.
After the testimony of these witnesses, the respondents counsel, Paul Usoro, who had earlier pledged to call eight witnesses, asked the court for an adjournment.
“My Lord, we have had enough from this witnesses for today,” Usoro added.
The tribunal adjourned hearing in the case to Monday.