Witnesses have told the election petition tribunal in Akwa Ibom State that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cancelled collated results compiled from their units and wards.
They also alleged that INEC produced voters’ register which were not used on election day.
Seven witnesses who testified on Senator Godswill Akpabio’s petition, told the three-man panel, that they were amazed to hear that collated results obtained from their units and wards were cancelled after they were announced at the polling units and wards.
They added that the petitioner, Akpabio, won convincingly in all the units and wards that results were collated and announced.
The Ward Agent in Okon Ward 8, Essien Udim council, said he was shocked to hear that the results which he signed at the collation centre were cancelled by INEC in Uyo. He insisted he only heard about the cancellation in the court.
Lead counsel to the third respondent (INEC) Ifeoluwa Otediran said INEC cancelled the results in 17 of the 20 pulling units in Okon Ward 8 because the voters’ resister used for accreditation were not ticked, and INEC believed that there was no accreditation of voters.
But the witness said: “My Lord, it is not true. There was accreditation and our names were ticked in my Ward before we were allowed to vote, and the same thing was done in other polling units which our party agents told me about. There was no cancellation in my presence. I was a ward collation officer for my party.
Testifying on INEC form EC8B1 for code 06 (Odoro Ikot Ward 6) of 05 registration area, a witness said he was surprised to hear, for the first time inside the tribunal, that results in the 10 polling units in his ward were cancelled. According to him, voters’ register presented to him in the tribunal was different from the one used during the election.
“My Lord, these documents tendered here are different from the one INEC brought to the polling units in Ward 8, Odoro Ikot, Essien Udim council on election day. It is a surprise that INEC gave us photocopied documents. I am surprised that there were original documents. “Our names were ticked on the voters’ register they gave to us, but it is shocking that our names are not ticked in this one here at the tribunal,” the witness said.
The same scenario played out 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.
The testimonies, according to legal analysts, revealed how some INEC officials conspired to cancel the results of Senator Akpabio to reduce his votes and declare his opponent winner of the election.
Lead counsel to the petitioner S.I. Ameh was granted June 19 and 20 to present all his witnesses to continue their testimonies.
Practical Considerations to Negotiate an Enforceable Joint Operating Agreement in Civil Law Jurisdictions (Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 2020) By Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, LL. B (1st Class), BL (1st Class), LL.M (Calgary), LL.M (Harvard), DPhil (Oxford), Professor of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria, www.damilolaolawuyi.com. & Professor Eduardo G. Pereira, LL. B (Brazil), LL.M (Aberdeen), PhD (Aberdeen),www.eduardogpereira.com
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