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TRIBUNAL UPDATE: AKPABIO VS EKPENYONG.

At the resumed sitting of the Akwa North West Senatorial District National Assembly Elections petition Tribunal in the ongoing witnesses testimonies session on June 24, 2019,
a witness, Mr Etiebet Joshua, an APC LGA Agent for Obot Akara LGA after taking the oath, informed the Tribunal of the threat call he received from Dr. Christopher Ekpenyong of PDP, who has just been sworn in as the senator representing Akwa Ibom North West in the National Assembly.
He said that Dr. Christopher Ekpenyong threatened to kill him if he testifies against him in the Tribunal and implored the Tribunal to take note of the threat as he was about to testify.
In his testimony, the witness drew attention of the Tribunal to the issue of voting beyond the registered number of voters in Obot Akara which INEC accepted contrary to the law.
During cross examination, he divulged to the tribunal how the Electoral Officer in Charge of Obot Akara extended invitation from Akwa Ibom State REC, Mr. Mike Igini to him.
That on meeting with REC, he persuaded him to accept and sign the manipulated results for Obot Akara in favour of Dr. Christopher Ekpenyong but he rebuffed his persuasions.
Still under cross examination, the witness revealed further to the tribunal that the Returning Officer for the election under contest, Prof Akpan Ekanem is a card carrying member of PDP, who also contested Chairmanship election under PDP in Obot Akara in 2017: underpinning with the proof of being his ward agent in the said election then.
In the quest to fathom out the rationale behind INEC decision in preferring a PDP member as an umpire in such critical election, he felt a need to drop a poser on the side of the Tribunal to imagine how credible such election could be.
The next witness, was Barr. Ibanga Akpabio, APC North West Senatorial District Agent for the National Assembly Elections.
He said to the best of his knowledge that the said election was inconclusive before it was finally hijacked and taken away from the Collation centre to another undisclosed venue without adding Essien Udim votes.
The Tribunal adjourned at 7:10 PM to reconvene on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 10 AM. Office of the State Publicity Secretary,APC Akwa Ibom State

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