…as Umana Again Seeks Recounting of Ballot Papers
Four witnesses presented by the Counsel to the Akwa Ibom State Governor at the Governorship Elections Tribunal in Abuja on Wednesday affirmed that they voted at the April 11 2015 Governorship elections in the State.
The PDP lead Counsel, Paul Usoro (SAN) making his position clear at the tribunal, stated that his team was determined to prove beyond doubt, that elections took place generally peacefully and people voted in their various units in the state on April 11, 2015.
Those who testified included Mr. Imo Okon, a medical scientist resident in Uyo Local government, Maxwell Ojoko a retired permanent Secretary who resides in Ewet Housing Estate in the State capital, Dr. Godwin Ntukude the State Commissioner for Transport and Pastor Isaiah Abia an Estate developer in Esit Eket Local government.
Attempts by the Counsel to the Petitioner Wale Olanipekan (SAN) to quiz Mr. Imo Asuquo on why the same PDP collation agent could have represented more than one ward in the Local Government collation center was rebuffed by the witness who maintained his stand that his responsibility was restricted to representing his party at his polling unit.
Another witness Maxwell Ojoko, also thrilled the legal luminaries when he maintained his position that he was not a party faithful in any political party but had voted for Mr. Udom Emmanuel of the PDP because he loved his manifesto.
Interestingly, attempts by the APC lead counsel to destabilize DW3 Mr. Godwin Ntukude was to no avail as the Commissioner for Transport firmly stood his grounds that he restricted himself to his unit 009 ward 1 in Uruan LGA and also that the Akwa Ibom Transport Company, AKTC had been leased by the State government to a private operator and its operation was not under his ministry’s control.
Earlier the Petitioner Mr Umana Umana through his lawyer Olanipekun had sought the consent of the tribunal for the verification of the ballot materials admitted in the tribunal as exhibit, a move which was swiftly rebuffed by Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Counsel Paul Usoro(SAN) who argued that it will amount to another rigorous process of counting.
The Tribunal Judge Justice Sadiq Umar who deferred ruling on the matter however said that if the process can be okayed the need arises.
The tribunal adjourned proceedings till Thursday September 3, 2015.