The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) closed its defence in the Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district 2015 election tribunal on Saturday with Its last witness saying many electors voted without the electronic card reader accreditation in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
The statement was made by ex-Gov. Godswill Akpabio’s former political adviser, Udo Ekpeyong, who also doubled as the PDP Local Government Collation officer 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 is challenging the conduct of the election and declaration of former governor Godswill Akpabio as winner of the poll.
Testifying before the tribunal, Ekpeyong said the Card Reader did not function in his polling unit 5, Ikot Oku Osung, compelling 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, 44,030 was allocated as total number of accredited voters for the area with total votes cast put at 41,922 in the final result sheet he signed.
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 and he admitted that, that was the norm.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is billed to open its defence on Monday, September 21, 2015.