APC intimidated our people with thugs during polls, witness tells tribunal
National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Enoidem, has revealed that elections were canceled in some polling units and wards in Etim Ekpo Council of Akwa Ibom State because armed thugs hijacked electoral materials.He stated this while testifying as the first witness of the first respondent, Governor Udom Emmanuel, as he opened his case at the Governorship Election Tribunal in Uyo.
Enoidem, who was PDP’s state collation agent for the Presidential and National Assembly elections, as well as the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House Assembly Elections, said the thugs were brought from Edo State in 50 buses to rig the polls.
He noted that they were, however, arrested by the police and they confessed to being paid by APC and Nsima Ekere to cause instability in PDP strongholds in the state.
Under cross-examination by Prof. Ernest Ojukwu (SAN), he admitted that he voted in his local government and that elections in units of three wards were cancelled due to activities of thugs. Ojukwu, a former commissioner lamented that hijacked materials and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were taken to God’swill Akpabio’s house in Essien Udim for rigging, leading to cancellations by INEC.
Led in evidence by Chief Assam Assam (SAN), Enoidem tendered all unit results (Form EC8A) and local government results (Form EC8B), Form EC8C, Form EC8D and Form EC8E including the CTC of receipt of payment to INEC in application for the forms tendered.
Under cross-examination by Uko Udom (SAN) who appeared for the second respondent, PDP, the witness affirmed his evidence in chief, stating his role as PDP’s state collation agent.Responding to questions from the third respondent, INEC Counsel, Sylva Ogwemoh (SAN), he affirmed that he was at the commission’s office and participated in collation of results from all the local government areas of the state.
He said he participated in the collation exercise with over 50 agents of other political parties, including Ambassador Sam Akpan, who was APC’s state collation agent. However, there was anxiety when Ojukwu attempted to force the witness to respond to questions on documents he neither made nor tendered.Assam Assam (SAN) opposed efforts to cross-examine the witness on voter registers as he objected to questions directed at the witness.
The tribunal panel chairman, Justice A. M. Yakubu, upheld Assam’s argument and ruled that the witness could not be cross-examined on documents he neither made nor tendered.
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