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Friday, 23 August 2019

Akwa Ibom Guber Tribunal: How President Buhari's Aide, Ita Enang shot at voters to snatch voting materials

Akwa Ibom Guber Tribunal: How President Buhari's Aide,  Ita Enang shot at voters to snatch voting materials


President Muhammadu Buhari's Senior Special Assistant on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Solomon James Enang shot at, and injured some voters during the Governorship Elections at Ibiono Ibom, Ward 2, Units 11 and 12, with one hospitalized for many months, a witness told the Akwa Ibom state Governorship Elections Petitions Tribunal in Uyo, Friday.

The witness, Nicholas Edward Andy who told the tribunal that it was the only reported incident that took place in his local government area, said Senator Enang shot at the voters to enable him cart away INEC materials in those units.

Andy, a PDP agent in the Governorship Elections, testifying as RW 22 was 2nd Witness of the 2nd Respondent, as the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP opened its defense.

He intimated the tribunal under cross examination by Assam Assam,SAN counsel to Governor Udom Emmanuel, as local government collation agent, that the earlier witness Dr. Effiong Etuk (PW5) was not the local government area collation agent of APC, as he told the tribunal.

He said rather, "One Barrister Mfon Udeme was the local government agent of APC and he signed the result along with me."

He also faulted the testimony of another earlier witness Okokon David, stating rather that, "it is not true that the elections was characterized by general commotion and thuggery."

Another witness, Barrister Uwem Monday Ekanem who was PDP's first witness had earlier told the court that the candidate of the PDP in the 2019 Governorship election, Mr. Udom Emmanuel won convincingly in Ikot Abasi which is the local government area of the APC Governorship candidate, Mr. Nsima Ekere.

Under cross examination, Barr. Ekanem who was the Local Government Agent for the PDP in Ikot Abasi during the election, said except for the invasion of some polling units by suspected APC thugs, Governor Emmanuel defeated the APC candidate in the election which was conducted by INEC across the 71 Polling units and 40 Voting Points in the area.

The PDP agent disclosed that officials of INEC, security agencies and agents of other political parties, including the APC were physically present at the Local Government Collation Center in Ikot-Abasi where the final results were collated. 

He admitted that the APC Collation agent, Arc. Ufot Udoinyang, witnessed the entire process and was there when the PDP candidate, Mr. Udom Emmanuel was announced as winner of the election.

"My Lord, the elections were free and fair in my local government area(Ikot-Abasi). 

"The INEC local government collation officials received the results, and in my presence and that of one Arc Ufot Udoinyang who represented APC, the results were collated''

Barr. Ekanem dismissed the claim by the petitioner, Mr. Nsima Ekere that there was over voting and some irregularities during the election, maintaining that there was no incident of over voting in Ikot-Abasi.

"INEC officials, security officials, agents of the PDP and agents of other political parties including the APC, followed the results to the Local Government Collation Centre in Ikot Abasi. 

He had tendered his PVC to affirm his status as a voter. The PVC was objected by counsel to Petitioners, J. S. Okutepa,SAN who says that the Voter's card bears Ekanem, Uwem whereas the witness introduced himself as Uwem Monday Ekanem.

But Tayo Oyetibo, SAN argued that the Voter's card had the face of the witness and his age, which clearly represents the witness.

While debunking a deposition earlier tendered by an APC witness, Osundu Akpan Ukpe (PW 21), he explained that, "after the elections in the units, the results were taken to the ward collation centers and thereafter,  the collated results from the wards were taken by INEC officials, escorted by security officials and party agents to the local government collation center". 

"To the best of my knowledge, from what I observed, there was no overvoting in my local government". 

Mr Ekanem further submitted that there was no incidence of malfunctioning of the card reader in any unit of his local government. 

He stated further that in eight Units, results were cancelled because suspected APC thugs invaded and carted away election, maintaining that accreditation was done by card reader.

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