Court concludes INEC’s case against Ogban, to hear his defence today
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom State, yesterday, concluded its prosecution at the state High Court, Ikot Ekpene in the alleged fraud case against Prof. Peter Ogban of the University of Uyo during the 2019 general elections.
Ogba, who was returning officer for the 2019 Akwa Ibom North West National Assembly election, is being prosecuted for alleged manipulation and falsification of election results.
INEC had charged the accused at the state High Court, Ikot Ekpene division for manipulating the scores of two political parties, falsifying and announcing fake results in Etim Ekpo and Oruk Anam councils, an offence punishable under section 1 and 123, subsection 4 of the Electoral Act as amended.
Prosecution counsel, Clement Onwenwunor, presented five exhibits and called two lecturers, Dr. John Enoidem and Dr. Itemobong Ekaidem from the University of Uyo, as witnesses.
During cross-examination by the defence counsel, the witnesses, who are senior lecturers at the University of Uyo, stated that the results they presented were different from the ones the accused declared.
They were collation officers for Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo councils in the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District election. In their testimonies, they said the results they collated at the council level, which were presented to Ogban, differed from the results he finally declared.
For the Oruk Anam Council result, Enoidem noted that while his result showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 10,534 votes and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 25,123 votes, the accused declared that the APC polled 15,534, while PDP got 20,123 votes.
He, thereby, reduced PDP’s votes by 5,000 and increased APC score by the same number of ballots. Ekaidem added that while the results for Etim Ekpo Council showed that APC scored 2,671 votes and PDP got 6,603, the result Ogban finally declared showed that APC scored 5,671 votes compared to PDP’s 3,306, amounting to a difference of 3,000 in favour of the former.
However, while the prosecution had closed its case, the defence will open its case on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (today). Presiding judge, Augustine Odokwo, adjourned the case till today for the defence counsel to present its case and conclude his argument tomorrow.
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