Apc Won In Edemeya Ward 3--- Says Gov Emmanuel's Witness
Governor Udom Emmanuel's witness has confirmed that the defeated APC Governorship candidate in the March 9, 2019 Governorship election in the state, Mr. Nsima Ekere actually won in Edemeya Ward 3 of Ikot Abasi local government area.
Testifying on Thursday at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Mr. Attah Akrang, (RW6) who was the Ward Collation Agent in Edemeya Ward 3, told the court that after the ward collation of results, the APC was declared winner in Edemeya Ward 3 otherwise known as Ward 8 in Ikot Abasi.
During cross examination by Prof Ernest Ojukwu,SAN, Counsel to the petitioner, the witness admitted that skirmishes were reported in Units 001, 002 and 005, leading to cancellation of elections in those units by INEC.
He said following reports that thugs, allegedly sponsored by the APC, hijacked materials in those units, it led to the cancellation of those units by the electoral officials at his ward collation center.
Prof Ojukwu,SAN further asked the witness if he would be surprised to know that his name is not on the INEC register for his unit, to which he answered that he would so surprised to be so told.
The petitioner's Counsel asserted to the witness that, "Your name is not in the register of your polling unit".
"It is not true, I'm just hearing that from you", was the response.
This allegation was never proven as the learned Counsel failed to show the tribunal the witness' poling unit register to indicate that his name was missing.
Mbetse Essien Akpan a PDP polling unit agent also testified as the 3rd witness for the 1st Respondent and under cross examination said he knows Mr Nkereuwem Edet Okpo PW15, the Chapter Chairman of the APC in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area who posed as polling unit agent of the APC in his unit.
He categorically stated that Mr Okpo lied under oath to the court when he said that there was violence and hijacking of materials in Unit 007, Ward 1 Nsit Ibom Local government area, as no such thing took place.
The witness went ahead to affirm that his candidate, Mr Udom Emmanuel won the said elections in his unit with 205 votes under a very peaceful condition.
The cross examination by Ojukwu, SAN could not contradict the witness' testimony. The last words of the witness on cross examination was admirably succinct. Ojukwu SAN had attempted to put to the witness that there was no accreditation in his unit when the witness replied with a very calm mood,
"Sincerely, accreditation was done in my Polling unit and elections were held in a very peaceful atmosphere, this is the truth"
For Aniekan Dan, a former councillor and Ward Collation Agent of Ward 4 in Etim Ekpo local government, the story was no different as he confirmed that his ward witnessed peaceful elections.
On cross examination by APC Counsel, witness tells the court that he was duly accredited after his Voter's Card was collected and it was confirmed with the card reader.
"They collected my Voter's card and inserted in the card reader and it works(sic) and I went on to vote", said Hon. Dan, a councillor who previously represented the ward.
Earlier in the day, Christopher Ukpong, a unit agent, for Unit 009, Ward 10 in Oruk Anam had debunked the earlier claims by APC Witness, Patrick Nkantion who alleged that elections in that unit was marred by violence and multiple voting by PDP agents.
He further also admitted, during cross examination by INEC Counsel Sylva Oguwemoh, SAN, that he voted and counter signed the result sheet in his polling unit.
The APC Counsel, Prof Ernest Ojukwu,SAN, during cross examination, also led the witness to affirm that he voted in his unit, after being accredited by INEC.
Uduak Essien, the PDP Ward Collation Agent of Ward 4 in Ukanafun local government faulted an earlier testimony by the petitioner's witness, PW34, Ubokobong Ime Udoworen, who claimed he was the APC Ward agent of his ward. He revealed that the actual agent of APC in his ward was Utitofon Ekanem, who went on to counter sign the ward result at the ward Collation center.
"My lord, since I began my participating in politics, this is the best ever election in my ward. It was so peaceful," he recounted.
He confirms during Cross examination by Prof Ernest Ojukwu,SAN that his votes were cast at his polling Unit 007 after he was duly accredited and also confirmed in his Polling unit register that his name was ticked as a voter. On why his phone number is not recorded on the register, he said he was not authorised to write anything on the register by the INEC officials.
The tribunal was adjourned to Friday for continuation of hearings.
So far, six witnesses have testified for teh first Respondent, Governor Udom Emmanuel who began his defense on Wednesday.