Witnesses called by the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State have frustrated the pleas made by the party at the governorship election petitions tribunal.
The governorship candidate of the party Obong Nsima Ekere, in his amended prayers sought the tribunal to set aside of results announced by INEC in all the local government areas in the State except in Etim Ekpo and Essien Udim local government areas.
Ekere claimed that election was conducted at polling units and results were announced in Etim Ekpo and Essien Udim.
However, a chieftain of the APC, Engr Akanimo Edet, who was the party’s collation agent in Etim Ekpo, has disproved the claim made by Obong Nsima Ekere.
Appearing in the elections petitions tribunal sitting at Court 8, Fulga road, Uyo, Edet distanced himself from claims by his party that it won the election in Etim Ekpo, saying that there was no election in all parts of Etim Ekpo local government area.
Edet, a former member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, admitted a statement he earlier deposed under oath, that there was no collation and announcement of results of the governorship election in Etim Ekpo.
During cross examination, Chief Assam Assam(SAN) counsel to Governor Udom Emmanuel asked Edet if his party won the governorship election in Etim Ekpo.
He answered, “there was no election, so there is no way APC could have won.”
Edet’s response foreclosed the chances of the APC to further claim that it won the governorship election in Etim Ekpo local government area.
Our reporter who is covering the sittings of the tribunal said, the APC governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere, immediately walked out of the tribunal furiously after Edet’s testimony contradicted his claims and submission made by the party.
The leadership of the APC is said to be disappointed that its star witness in Etim Ekpo, Engr. Akanimo Edet has frustrated their case at the tribunal.
However, other six witnesses called by the APC said there was no election in their respective local government areas but at the same time insisted that their party won the election in some units and wards in those local government areas.
One of the witnesses, Barr. Emmanuel Atakpo, told the tribunal 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 APC won in any ward or unit in Ibesikpo Asutan, he said, the party won in Ward 1, Unit 6.
Atakpo had claimed 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.
When asked how he arrived at the conclusion that the governorship election was not held in the entire local government, Atakpo said, “I personally drove around most of the polling units within his ward to confirm that election didn’t take place.”
Another witness for the petitioner, Dr. Ita Udosen, also said in his statement that
there was no election in his unit, unit 4, Ibesikpo ward 3.
During cross examination, Udosen however admitted that election took place in his unit but that a fight broke out midway during voting so he ran away to the local government coalition center.
Another witness called by the APC, Mr Effiong Bassey Etim, from Ikot Akpabio in Nsit Atai local government told the tribunal that there was no election in his polling unit where he served as APC agent because there was violence immediately the election materials arrived.
Etim in Paragraph 5 of his earlier statement deposed at the tribunal said there was no violence but massive thump printing at his unit. It is clear to the world that the strategy of the APC to say that elections did not take place in some local government areas has fallen apart, as they keep contradicting themselves at the tribunal. The governorship elections took place peacefully throughout the state, a fact that the Police Commissioner in charge of elections in the State, Ibrahim Kaoje in his report to the Police Headquarters also affirmed.