Posted by News Express | 27 July 2019 | 1,352 times
Video evidence given by a principal witness in the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State indicted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Senator Chris Ekpenyong, representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district, in election malpractice.
Mr William Ndarake, Petition Witness 44, who served as the Assistant Presiding Officer 2 and an adhoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abiakpo, Ntoedino, ward 4, unit 5, Obot Akara local government area, alleged in Uyo that PDP thugs carted away the election materials.
He stated that soon after the governorship elections started in his unit, some thugs, who he claimed were from the PDP, invaded the polling unit, shot into the air and carted away the election materials.
Ndarake said the thugs took him and his Presiding Officer alongside the materials to the house of Senator Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor of the state, where the materials they seized from them were allegedly thumb printed and stamped with INEC stamp.
He noted that when the PDP thugs started thumb printing on the materials, he subtly started recording the process with his phone, adding that election materials from Ntoede ward 3, Ikot Abia ward and wards 2, 3 and 5 in Ntoedino were also there.
Ndarake, who was subpoenaed to appear at the tribunal, said he did not see Ekpenyong in the room where the materials were beinh thumb printed on, adding that he later transferred the short video recordings to his laptop and burnt them into a Compact Disk.
“I was the INEC ad hoc staff, the Assistant Presiding Officer 2 in Abiakpo, Ntoedino ward 4, unit 5, Obot Akara Local Government Area. The election was going on smoothly when at 11.05am, some group of thugs came and started shooting. I wanted to run but they said I should not run because they were there for us.
“They packed all the election materials, me and the Presiding officer into the jeep and drove off. They took us to the compound of former governor, Obong Chris Ekpenyong in Abiakpo. There, we saw election materials of different polling units and they asked us to cooperate.
“The boys collected all the materials from us, all the ballot paper and started stamping it with INEC stamp. As they were stamping, others were thump printing on it. Soon after, I brought out my phone and started recording some short videos,” he stated.
The Tribunal has earlier accepted the certificate of compliance of PW 44, the phone and CD as exhibit PTH 81, 81a and 81b respectively and for the phone and CD to be viewed in open court as requested by the counsel to the petitioner, J. S. Okutepa (SAN). (Daily Trust)
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