Law News
A’Ibom gov tribunal: Elections held without accreditation, says witness
A former Commissioner for Commence and Industry, Toby Nkangudeh, in Akwa Ibom State told the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Thursday that though there was no accreditation of voters in the Ikot Abasi area on April 11, the governorship election was free and fair in the community.
Nkangudeh was testifying as a defence witness at the tribunal’s sitting in Abuja, where the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in the election, Umana Umana, is challenging the declaration of Governor Udom Emmanuel of the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the governorship poll.
When confronted with the voters register of his polling unit, marked as Exhibit 289A and 289G, Nkangudeh said though no single voter was ticked as having being accredited for the April 11, 2015 poll, the election was generally peaceful.
He denied invading the polling unit in three Hilux vehicles, shooting sporadically on election day and carting away election materials.
The ex-commissioner said he had been a trader for over two decades, adding that he did not state the fact that he was a member of the State Executive Council in his deposition before the tribunal.
Also speaking during cross examination, the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Etido Inyang, told the court that election was held in Ikot Ekpene and that restriction of movements on election was enforced by security agents.
The former Special Adviser to former Governor Godswill Akpabio on Technical Matters said no case of violence occurred in the senatorial district and that the police did their job effectively.

He, however, remained silent when presented with police report of cases of murder, sporadic shooting, threat to life in Ini and Obot Akara Local Government Areas.
Also testifying, Ezekiel Obot from Oruk Anam said election was conducted in Oruk Anam LGA.
He said the claim of a former Petroleum Resources Minister, Chief Don Etiebet, who had earlier testified as a witness for the petitioners, that no election took place, was not true, adding that the former minister was not in his polling unit on election day.
He said he never saw Etiebet on election day at the polling unit, but when he was told by the prosecution that his polling unit, 006, where he claimed he voted, had no voter register, the former councillor said himself and Etiebet did not belong to the same polling unit.
Another defendants’s witness, Mr. Samuel Bassey, who said Bishop Samuel Akpan, an APC witness, was wrong when he testified that no election took place in Onna LGA, insisted that he voted at his polling unit 001 in Ward 3.
He explained that he voted according to the dictates of the Independent National Electoral Commission when he was told that accreditation did not take place in in his area.
“There were many registers on the table, I don’t know which one was voter register, but I voted,” he stated.
Friday Obot, from Mkpat Enin LGA, who testified that election took place in his area and that the PDP had agents in all the 14 wards of the council, could not explain how a former commissioner in the state, Mr.Jerry Akpan, allegedly signed result sheets of 14 units.
Hearing in the petition continues on Friday.
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