‘There Were No Accreditation’ Udom’s Witnesses Confirmed (legal team calls for abrupt adjournment)

Just a day after opening its defence, Udom Emmanuel’s legal team abruptly requested for the adjournment of the case at the Governorship Election Tribunal after all their four witnesses confirmed that there were no accreditation of voters in the March 9 election.

It was one of the most embarrassing moments for the legal team that includes Assam Assam (SAN) and Uko Udom (SAN) since the trial began.

The first witness for the day called by the Udom team, Mr. Christopher Ukpong, a pooling agent for Oruk Anam unit 9, Ward 10 told the Tribunal that he voted during the election. But when the Petitioner’s lead counsel, Prof Ernest Ojukwu, SAN, confronted him with the documentary evidence that he was not accredited, the witness mumbled unintelligible sounds: ‘My lord, it was INEC’s responsibility to do accreditation. I don’t know what happened’.

Other witnesses were equally flummoxed when it was obvious from the Voters Register that there was no accreditation. They are Mr. Mbet Essien, of Nsit Ibom Ward 007, unit one; Uduak Essien, Ukanafun collation agent (Ward 7, unit 004) and Attah Akrang, ward collation agent for Edem eya ward 3 of Ikot Abasi LGA.
By INEC’s guidelines, the box in front of a voter’s name in the Voters Register must be ticked by the Electoral Officer to signify accreditation.

From the Register, the four witnesses called today and Emmanuel Enoidem who testified yesterday as the State Collation Agent for the PDP were not accredited. Enoidem who entered the witness box yesterday with a bit of raised shoulders left with his tail between his legs when confronted with evidence that there were no accreditation in his unit.

By 12 noon today, in a bid to save themselves from further embarrassment, Udom’s legal team requested Justice A. Yakubu, Chairman of the Tribunal: ‘My lord, we can’t go further today. We request for adjournment till tomorrow’.

The testimony of Mr. Akrang who was the PDP agent at Nsima Ekere’s ward put a final nail into Udom Emmanuel’s electoral coffin. It was clear that the earlier boasts of the PDP that Ekere was defeated in his own LGA was based on a spurious election.

‘From the documentary evidence we have, only about 200,000 voters were accredited in the governorship election of the over 900,000 total votes declared by INEC’, says a source in Nsima Ekere’s legal team, who also noted that the petitioners were ready to further embarrass Udom’s witnesses ‘when we reconvene tomorrow’.
Another lawyer in the petitioners’ legal team said: ‘Our strategy is to prove convincingly that the governorship election was not conducted according to laid down procedures’.

By ETIM ETIM