A ‘compressed video was tendered as evidence at the election petitions tribunal by the All Progressives Congress, APC, as counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, picked holes in the video which it claimed “failed to show that the former senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was accredited to vote at his polling unit during the 2019 presidential and national assembly election.”
The PDP counsel said the video which was shown via a projector by Senator Akpabio’s media aide, Anietie Ekong, at the tribunal failed to prove that Akpabio voted at his polling unit (unit 9) Independence High School, Ukana West, during the election.
Akpabio had told the tribunal that he and his wife and family members voted during the election.
But the PDP insisted that “the video did not show where Akpabio nor his wife was accredited. It did not also show where election results were declared at the polling unit.”
Ekong, Akpabio’s aide and bearer of the video had said that he recorded the video by himself during the election.
During cross-examination, Barr. U. Njoku, counsel to the first respondent, Engr. Chris Ekpenyong, asked Ekong if he was a voter or was accredited to be at the polling unit where he made the recording.
Njoku, “You are not a registered voter at the Petitioner’s polling unit. Do you agree? ”
Ekong, “Yes, My Lord.”
Njoku, “I suggest to you that you are a registered voter in Ward 13, Oruk Anam.”
Ekong, “Yes, my Lord”.
Njoku, “You were not on any official duty by INEC on election day? ”
Ekong, “I was, Senator Akpabio’s unit attracted unusual number of journalists, media houses like the NTA etc were there.”
Njoku, “It was not the entire livestream you made on facebook that you copied into this video. Do you agree?
Njoku, “This means the video has been edited. Do you agree?”
Ekong, “Yes, My Lord.”
Senator Akpabio was also cross-examined on Tuesday, 25th June.
Counsel to the PDP, Solomon Umoh (SAN) asked Akpabio:
“Witness, is that your picture on page 18 of 162 in exhibit R170?”
Umoh, “Beside your name, there is no thumbprint, phone number or ticked column.”
Akpabio, “What you are saying is correct but this is not the voters register that was used on election day. I am a victim.”
Akpabio had approached the election petitions tribunal challenging the result of the 2019 election for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.
He claimed in an affidavit deposed at the Federal High Court Abuja, that he scored over 61,000 votes in Essien Udim Local Government Area in the Ikot Ekpene senatorial district election.
The former senate minority leader had further claimed in his statement of oath cited by the defense counsel, Solomon Umoh (SAN), that results were given to party agents and security agents.
“Results went to the party. I had 61,329 votes”, he said.
However, counsel to the PDP, Solomon Umoh (SAN), told the tribunal that Akpabio’s claim before the tribunal was inconsistent with his deposition at the Federal High Court, Abuja, and cannot be substantiated.
“When you went to FCT court in Abuja , you secured an order with an affidavit on oath. You told them you scored 65,000 votes and 60,000 was taken from you.”
The tribunal adjourned to Monday, June 1, for continuation of cross-examination.