…as Uwanta, Other Witnesses Fumble Again
The Young Progressives Party (YPP) Governorship candidate in the 2023 Governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Bassey Albert has been ordered to mount the witness box on Tuesday, the 20th of June, 2023 to testify at the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The tribunal which gave the order on Saturday June, 17, after five more witnesses had testified for the Petitioners, also mandated two other witnesses including a subpoenaed witness from the University of Uyo and a statistician to be present in court same day.
The five witnesses who testified on Saturday including, Arch Bishop Andrew Unwanta, who served as YPP Collation Agent in Etinan Local Government Area, one Emmanuel Nyong Uko, who served as the party’s Collation Agent in Ibesikpo-Asutan, Mr Okpoyo Etifit who served as collation agent of the YPP in Urueofong Oruko, Elder Ufot Tobby Nkangude, YPP Collation agent in ikot Abasi and Hon. Uko Idiong who served as collation agent in Ukanafun.
In their oral submission before the tribunal, all five witnesses gave statements at variance with their earlier written statement before the tribunal.
At the end they failed to proof how the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC connived with the second respondent, Pastor Umo Eno and his party, the PDP being the third respondent to surpress their votes in the last election.
The witnesses failed to present their unit results before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo, claiming that they left their respective units before the end of voting but were only informed by their respective unit agents that the processes were compromised.
Arch Bishop Andrew Unwanta, who served as YPP Collation Agent in Etinan Local Government Area, said he voted at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkana, in Southern-Iman ward 1 in Etinan LGA with polling unit code 014 Code, but that he left his unit immediately after casting his vote to the local government collation Centre in Etinan, where he was informed by polling agents of his party of some irregularities at the unit.
Governorship election form 2023
My polling unit was Comprehensive Sec sch, Nkana, in Southern-Iman ward 1 in Etinan LG. Unit 014 Code no of the polling unit.
I’m too old to remember my polling unit number(because of old age). But i know i voted in Nkana.
“YPP scored 69votes at my polling unit.
I voted, and after voting i left, because i was not the polling unit agent, i was the local government collation officer for Etinan”.
PDP Counsel: The people that best speak about what happens at the polling unit are the polling unit agents who remained there and not people like you who went to vote and left”.
Uwanta: Whereas i got the documents from the agents of YPP and they told me what happened.
Says polling agents reported to him what transpired at the unit on the day of election.
All the forms brought before the court bears Governorship election 2023. The forms brought before the court, every single of them have been signed by the Presiding officer, Unwanta says he’s not able to go through the form to ascertain it has been signed by the Presiding Officer.
Uwanta had told the court that polling agents of the YPP were chased away from Comprehensive Secondary School, Ikot Itina.
He had also testified that the unit results were not signed by the Presiding Officer but the one’s tendered before the court by his party YPP were all signed by the Presiding Officer.
But when cross examined by defense counsel, he lamented that, “There is no evidence that the name of the YPP agent is written on that form. I was not there at the polling unit. I was only at my polling unit. I got my information from polling agents.”
He also confessed, “I may not remember what my party scored, I’m an old man”.
“My complain is that the uploading of results took place outside of the ward centres as stipulated in the electoral act, but was done at INEC office in Etinan”, he added.
Mr. Emmanuel Uko, who introduced himself as an ICT expert said he voted at Unit 21, Primary School Mbikpong Ikot Edim in Ibesikpo-Asutan, accused INEC and the PDP of allegedly surpressing votes earned by his party, the YPP.
He claimed what was declared by the electoral body was not what his party won.
When asked by the court to authenticate the actual result he felt his party earned, he went dumb.
The tribunal panel chairman, Justice Adekunle Adeleye, subsequently directed the petitioners’ counsel led by Ahmed Raji, SAN to produce the petitioner, Senator Bassey Albert on Tuesday, as well as the other requested two witnesses.