Tribunal: Returning Officer says Akwa Ibom INEC commissioner Igini ordered him to cancel Akpabio votes


A witness called by the PDP before the National Assembly elections petition tribunal sitting in Uyo revealed weekend that Akwa Ibom Resident Electoral Commission ordered adjustment of the senatorial election that produced PDP’s candidate Chris Ekpeyeong.

Alloysius William, a lecturer, claimed before the tribunal that REC Mike Igini instructed him to cancel votes that had already been collated for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Ekpenyong was declared winner of the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Akpabio is challenging Ekpenyong’s declaration at the tribunal.

Both have presented their witnesses, and Ekpeyong has closed his case.

However, at the resumed hearing of the petition on Saturday for the PDP to open its case, William told the court that results which had already been collated at the local government and senatorial district offices of INEC and which showed that Akpabio had won convincingly were cancelled on the orders of Igini at INEC’s office in Uyo.

He made the revelations during cross-examination by S. I Ameh, the lead counsel to Akpabio.

William told the tribunal that as the returning officer for Essien Udim, Akpabio’s home Local Government Area, he personally prepared the result sheet, which he entered the score for the candidate of the APC as 61,329 votes while the PDP candidate scored 9,050 votes.

The witness said, “I agree that adjustments were done. These adjustments reflected in the final scores. The adjustments were done outside Essien Udim LGA. They were done at INEC office in Uyo.”

When asked to confirm the earlier testimony of a witness of Ekpenyong, the PDP candidate, Mr Anny Asikpo, that he (the Returning Officer) had at some point disappeared from the Collation centre, William denied he absconded.