...FAULTS APC CANDIDATE'S CLAIM OF ELECTION VICTORY IN ETIM EKPO LGA
A former state lawmaker and chieftain of APC, Engr Akanimo Edet has disagreed with his party's governorship candidate, Mr Nsima Ekere on the conduct of the 2019 governorship elections in his local government Area, Igbere TV reports.
Appearing in the elections petitions tribunal sitting at Court 8 along Fulga road in Uyo, Engr Edet distanced himself from claims by his party that it won the elections in Etim Ekpo, contrary to the result released by the electoral umpire, which went in favour of the PDP.
In the petition filed by Mr Nsima Ekere and the All Progressives Congress, among the reliefs sought in page 42(e), include the prayer that all results declared by INEC be set aside and fresh elections ordered, "except in Etim Ekpo and Essien Udim local government areas where elections were conducted at the polling units and results announced."
However, this claim was effectively punctured by Engr Edet, who as local government collation agent, testified that there was no election in all parts of Etim Ekpo.
It was discovered that following the refusal of the tribunal to accept Mr Amadu Attai's inclusion by APC as a witness, it was incumbent on Engr. Edet to tender the fake results of Etim Ekpo, in accordance with his party's submission, an opportunity which slipped off to the chagrin of his party leaders.
Under examination, Edet admitted to the statement he had earlier deposed under oath, in which he claimed that there was no collation and announcement of results throughout his local government.
On cross examination, Chief Assam Assam(SAN) Counsel to Governor Udom Emmanuel asked Engr. Edet if his party won the governorship election in Etim Ekpo, to which he answered with a very harsh tone, "there was no election so there is no way APC could not have won.
The party leadership has vowed to take drastic punitive measures against Engr.Akanimo Edet who it claimed has humiliated the party by fore closing their chance of presenting the acclaimed victorious result before the tribunal.
Witnesses caused great discomfort for the petitioner, Mr Nsima Ekere who had to storm out of the tribunal midway, as his witnesses contradicted themselves during cross examinations by defence counsels at the tribunal.
All the six witnesses that were called by the petitioner who testified at the tribunal contradicted themselves by saying that there was no election in their local government areas, and thereafter admitted that APC won the election in some units and wards.
One of the witnesses, Mr Emmanuel Atakpo who testified before the tribunal said that there was no election in Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, but when asked by Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tayo Oyetibo SAN if his party had won in ward or unit in Ibesikpo Asutan, he said APC won in Ward 1, Unit 6.
The witness also admitted that there was election in Ibesikpo Asutan Ward 10, Unit 6 but confessed he didn't know which party won the election.
On how he knew that elections were not held in the entire local government, Atakpo told the tribunal that, "I personally drove around most of the polling units within his ward to confirm that election didn't take place."2
He further alleged that the election results were manipulated at the local government coalition center, but when asked if he had the election result as the party agent for the local government before it was manipulated, he said he had no result.
Earlier, Dr Ita Udosen who was the second witness to testify for the petitioner said he registered to vote at the Primary School Mbierebe Akpawat when he actually voted at Ibesikpo Asutan Ward 3 Unit 4.
According to his statement before the tribunal which he asked the court to adopt as evidence in the petition, he said there was no election in his unit, and during cross examination, he admitted that election took place, and it was later that problem started and he ran away to the local government coalition center.
On his part, the first witness, Mr Effiong Bassey Etim from Ikot Akpabio in Nsit Atai local government told the tribunal that there was no election in his polling unit which he served as APC agent because there was violence immediately the election materials arrived, but in Paragraph 5 of his earlier deposed statement, Etim had claimed that there was no violence but massive thump printing at his unit.