The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the March 28 senatorial election in Akwa Ibom North, Inibehe Okori, has stated that no election took place in his voting unit because thugs suspected to be supporters of the ruling PDP in the state hijacked the election materials.
Mr. Okori made the allegation on Thursday when he appeared before the Goddy Anunihu-led national and state assembly election tribunals for Akwa Ibom State sitting in Abuja.
Mr. Okori is challenging the election of former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio, who was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“The entire election materials for my unit were hijacked by people suspected to be thugs loyal to the Peoples Democratic Party,” he said.
The APC candidate also said it was baffling that election was reported to have taken place “from a process where no ballot paper and other election materials were available to voters in the unit”.
Asked if the Card Reader was still supposed to be used in manual accreditation, Mr. Okori told the tribunal that the use of the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and the Card Reader was to aid in identifying the ownership of the PVC as well as in fingerprint authentication, stating that it is only when the fingerprint authentication fails that the law allows the process to be reversed to manual accreditation. He added that even when authentication fails and incidence form is to be filled, it is the voter who should fill the incidence form.
On whether he had agents for the election, he answered in the affirmative, stating that as the senatorial candidate of the APC, he had agents in all the polling units in the senatorial district and that they monitored the exercise for him.
Mr. Okori’s testimony brings to 17, the number of witnesses that have so far testified against Mr. Akpabio’s election at the tribunal.
The case was adjourned to August 19 for the petitioners to conclude their case after which Mr. Akpabio will have nine days to present 63 witnesses in his defence.