Nigeria

Tribunal update: “I’ll Be Surprised that INEC Has Results of Cancelled Polling Units in Ekpenyong Ward”, says INEC Staff

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Amba Anso Amba, the second witness for Chris Ekpenyong, in the battle for Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district, Tuesday, told the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo, that he wil be surprised to hear the polling units he testified to have been cancelled during his evidence, have result sheets as tendered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in court.

Amba, who said he is a staff of the electoral umpire, and was involved in the distribution of election materials for the February 23 presidential and national assembly election in Ekpenyong Ward, Essien Udim Local Government Area of the state, had told the tribunal that there was no proper election in 15 polling units of the ward because election materials and INEC officials, including himself, were kidnapped while distributing the materials and made to thumb the ballot papers at gun point.

He had also told the court that the columns for accreditation were ticked because accreditation did not take place.
He was led in evidence by counsel to the first respondent in the petition (Ekpenyong), Uche Njoku.

But when counsel to the petitioners, Sunday Ameh, showed him the result sheets as provided to the petitioners by INEC, the witness said he would be surprised if INEC provided the true certified copies of the result from the polling units he said were cancelled because of irregularities.

“I will be surprised that results of the polling units I said ballot papers were thumb printed, were collated and announced at both ward and local government level.”

When reminded that from INEC’s document, tendered in court as exhibit, only one polling unit was cancelled, he said “I will be surprised that only one unit was cancelled.”

Amba earlier told the tribunal that based on his report of abduction, thumb printing of ballot and forced declaration of the result, 15 polling units were cancelled.

When asked if the smart card readers after capturing a voters for accreditation, do not indicate the number of voters accredited, he said he did not know because he does not worth in ICT department.

When shown a copy of his report, that the receiver did not write date of receiving it, he said under re-examination by Njoku, that it was an internal memo, which could be dated or otherwise when received.
He said he did not report the kidnap to the police because he was instructed by his superiors that every report should go to the office.

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