9th February, 2012
Professor Dora Akunyili of APGA has testified at the Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Awka in her petition challenging the victory of Dr Chris Ngige of ACN in the poll conducted for Anambra Central Senatorial zone.
During the cross-examination conducted on Wednesday by both Counsel to Ngige, Mr. Emeka Ngige (SAN) and INEC Mr. Osita Nnadi (SAN), Akunyili maintained that she won the simple majority of lawful votes cast at the 2011 April poll.
Akunyili said that her first prayer in her petition was for the tribunal to outrightly declare her winner and in the alternative, nullify the election in some areas and call for re-run
“I want the tribunal to declare me winner because I won by simple majority and to nullify the areas where there were over- voting.
“I care only for the right thing to be done,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Akunyili on Tuesday tendered more than 1,450 various forms of result sheets as exhibits.
She maintained that she wrote many petitions to INEC during the conduct of the said election complaining of electoral malpractice including non-conclusion of the election in some areas.
According to her, ACN agents in collaboration with some security officials accredited some voters with the aim of disenfranchising some others.
Akunyili, a former Information and Communications Minister, noted that she could not tell if there were errors made by INEC officials as it was not her duty to detect them.
According to her, “I want the court to give me back the ACN votes which they did not earn as well as the over-voting recorded, that is why I came to court.”
“It would be fair for the tribunal to deduct votes in areas which I did not earn but credited to me. It is left for judges to decide if I earned any votes undeservable,” she said.
While looking at exhibits given to her by the cross-examiner at Umufali hall, Agulu ward three, where APGA scored 90 votes, but in another exhibit (form EC8B) for the same ward, APGA garnered 190, she said ” if it is confirmed by the tribunal that I was alloted more votes, it is left for it to decide.”
She denied distributing rice, vegetable oil, wrappers, cash gift and other materials to solicit for votes during campaigns for the election.
“I don’t know anything about distribution of rice, I did not send someone to distribute rice for me and I have more than 1,000 agents. I am new in APGA.
“I left PDP for APGA; some people printed wax in my name and gave out to people but I cannot remember the people that gave me the material.
“I have said a number of times that Ngige is like a brother to me. I said that if he wins fairly, I will congratulate him, but if he cheats me, I will not concede defeat.
“Looking at the evidence, Ngige was not duly elected based on all the issues I have raised. And I am not familiar with INEC manual.
“The Returning Officer of the re-run was not a consultant to NAFDAC, but he was my former student and what he announced was what was presented to him