The petition by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the April 11, 2015 governorship polls in Akwa Ibom State, Umana Okon Umana [above]
elections were not held throughout Akwa Ibom State suffered a major setback at the governorship elections petition tribunal on Tuesday, when Dr Anthony Usoro, a university lecturer from Ikono Local Government Area testified to the contrary.
Dr Usoro who said he served as the local government collation officer for Ikono, came to the tribunal as a witness to testify for the Peoples Democratic Party, whose gubernatorial standard bearer, Mr Udom Emmanuel won on April 11, 2015 polls in the state.
Usoro, when confronted by the petitioner’s lawyer with exhibit DDDD12, which is form EC8C , that ward election results for ward 001-011 were mutilated disagreed with the lawyer, alluding that those were “readable corrections of computational errors”, meaning that the corrections so made on the result sheet are readable to everyone’s eyes, and does not tantamount to mutilation of result.
When asked by the petitioner’s lawyer to examine form EC8B document and tell the tribunal if any other agent signed the result sheet, he replied that he and INEC signed the final result sheet and there was no way he could have decide for other parties on signing the result sheets, after they had declined to do so.
Dr Usoro was also shown his unit voters register which his name (683) was not ticked but he insisted he was cleared by the electoral officers to vote in the election in his unit and he had no business marking his name on the register on behalf of INEC.
Earlier, an application by the PDP counsel Tayo Oyetibo (SAN) that he be allowed to file additional witnesses, was opposed by Solomon Umoh (SAN) counsel to Umana Umana, forcing Justice Sadiq Umar to fix Thursday for hearing on the applications.
Reacting to these developments, a public affairs analyst, Victor Olorunfemi argued that the fact that “a collation officer’s name was not ticked does not imperil the substance of the evidence that elections were conducted or invalidate the result of an election.
By Mfonobong Ukpong