Barr Bassey Okon Willie, a witness for the Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel and the PDP, told the governorship tribunal sitting in Abuja Friday that he signed all the result sheets for Oron Local Government Area contrary to electoral rules. Willie said this during his testimony at the continuation of hearing on the matter.
The All Progressive Congress candidate, Umana Umana had approached the tribunal challenging conduct of the April poll and declaration of Udom Emmanuel as winner of the election.
Willie said the result sheets were signed by one agent because other ward collation agents could not make it to the Local Government Collation Centre, as the engine boats in which they were travelling developed fault.
He said the development caused the ward collation agents to resort to manual paddling. The witness, who admitted that he was the Local Government Collation Agent, added that he signed the result sheets for Ward 4, even though Elder Effiong Atanang was the PDP Ward 4 collation agent. His testimony contradicted the witness disposition of Elder Effiong Atanang, who said he signed the Ward 4 result.
Barr Willie, during cross examination also told the tribunal that election results can be collated outside Ward collation centres “as was the case in Oron”.
He said lightening and security made it impossible for election results to be carried out at designated collation centres and that led to collation elsewhere with the support of security agents and INEC officials.
He further stated that he was not aware that election results were supposed to be entered into forms EC8A, EC8B and EC8C.
Another witness, a former PDP state chairman, Uwem Ita Etuk, during cross examination told the respondent’s counsel, Dayo Akinlaja, that “he will give him what he wants”. His statement was in response to a request by the counsel to provide answer to a question. The witness added, “if anyone says no election took place in the area, then INEC should be told to answer for it”. Counsel to INEC, Obinna Onyia, declined cross examining the witness.
When asked to state between number of accredited voters and votes cast, which should be higher during election, he said he does not know, as he was only a voter at polling unit 003.
Also testifying, Mr. Jude Edet, the Local Government collation agent for Ibesikpo Asutan, said it was wrong for Dr Ita Udosen and former governor Victor Attah to have testified that there was no election in the area. He denied knowing the names of other PDP ward agents in the area, despite the fact that he was the local government collation agent. He however admitted that it was wrong for total votes cast to be higher than total number of accredited voters, saying such a development amounts to fraud. "Ghost can’t vote", he added.
After the testimony of these witnesses, the respondent’s counsel, Paul Usoro, who had earlier pledged to call eight witnesses, asked the court for adjournment, saying, "My Lord, we’ve had enough from these witnesses for today". The tribunal then adjourned to Monday, September 7, 2015.