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Akwa Ibom Election Tribunal: PDP opens defense

03 September 2015, 11:59 Anietie Ekong

The Akwa Ibom State Governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday resumed hearing with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the April 11, governorship election, Udom Emmanuel beginning the defense of their victory at the polls which is being challenged by the All Progressives Congress and its gubernatorial candidate, Umana Okon Umana. 

Sitting before Justices A. S. Umar, K. O. Dawodu and P. T. Kwahar in Court 8 of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, the PDP presented four witnesses on the day they began the defense of the Party's mandate. 

Opening the account, Imo Asuquo Okon, a Medical Scientist from Ikot Oku Ikono, Uyo confirmed to the Tribunal that he participated and voted in the Akwa Ibom State governorship election and tendered his voter's card which was accepted as an exhibit by the Tribunal.  

Okon told the Tribunal that apart from about three units in his ward which elections were disrupted by the APC Ward Chairman, the elections went on smoothly in the other units of the ward. 

In the same vein, a retired Permanent Secretary from Uyo, Maxwell Jeremiah testifying as a witness also confirmed that although he does not belong to any political party, he had voted during the governorship election which he said went on smoothly in His area. 

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A third witness and former Commissioner for Transport in Akwa Ibom State, Godwin Ntukude debunked the claim by the APC that Akwa Ibom State Transport Company (AKTC) vehicles were used to convey materials during the election. He said AKTC was a private company And was therefore not under his control and supervision.

Mr Ntukude also confirmed that he participated and monitored the election in his native Uruan Local Government Area and from the reports he got elections were held smoothly. 

The last witness of the day, Mr Isaiah Abia, an Estate Developer concluded the PDP account by also confirming that there were accreditation and election in his unit and ward, which the PDP won squarely and said it would be dishonest for anyone to claim there was no election in Akwa Ibom State.   

Earlier, Counsel to the APC governorship candidate, Mr Wole Olanipekun SAN had sought the consent of the Tribunal for the verification of the ballot materials in the custody of the Tribunal, a move which was objected by Counsel to Mr Udom Emmanuel, Paul Usoro SAN who argued that it would be a waste of the Tribunal's time. However, the Chairman of the Tribunal held that such move could only be ordered if the need arose. 

Addressing newsmen after the Tribunal sitting, lead counsel to Mr Udom Emmanuel, Paul Usoro, SAN said his client was ready to prove that he won fairly the April 11 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State and said the testimonies of the witnesses presented by his client and the PDP all confirmed that elections were held in the State, contrary to the claims by the APC that there were no elections in Akwa Ibom State. 

- MyNews24

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