A/Ibom Senate: Akpabio's nomination did not follow due process, Ex-aide tells tribunal


Senator Godswill Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio challenged at the election tribunal by Chief Inebehe Okori
Godswill Akpabio challenged at the election tribunal by Chief Inebehe Okori

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) closed it’s defence in the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district on Saturday with its last witness saying the nomination of Godswill Akpabio as senatorial candidate did not follow due process.

The statement was made by Akpabio’s former political adviser, Udo Ekpeyong who also doubled as the PDP Local Government Collation office for Ukanafun.

Ekpenyong was testifying in a matter taken before the tribunal by the All Progressives Congress candidate for Akwa Ibom North West, Chief Inebehe Okori. Okori approached the tribunal challenging the conduct of the election and declaration of former governor of Akwa Ibom, Godswill Akpabio as winner of the poll.

He was asked by counsel to the petitioner, Chief Assam Assam if the law required that, for Akpabio to have been deemed as validly nominated by the PDP, he ought to have been nominated by some registered voters from the constituency and the document containing the list of nominators ought to have been sent to INEC alongside the party’s nomination form.

He said that was the normal thing to do, but noted that it was not the case with Akpabio’s nomination.

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Ekpeyong also told the election tribunal that the Card Reader did not function in his polling unit 5, Ikot Oku Osung and the failure of the Smart Card Reader compelled him and others to go on with voting without accreditation.

Asked if voters in front of him who were electronically accredited were more than those behind him whom he claimed were manually accredited after the Card Reader malfunctioned, he said more people behind him were manually accredited.

But the Card Reader report punctured his claim as it showed that 128 voters were electronically accredited. Total number of accredited voters with the Card Reader for Ukanafun stood at 15,258 but in the final result sheet he signed but 44,030 was allocated as total number of accredited voters for the area with total votes cast at 41,922 in the final result sheet he signed.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is billed to open it’s defence on Monday, September 21, 2015.

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