…VIDEO EVIDENCE FAILS TO SHOW COLLATION AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS IN DEFEATED SENATOR’S UNIT
A media aide to Senator Godswill Akpabio, Mr Anietie Ekong has told the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Uyo that he did not vote for the former Senate Minority Leader in the February 2019 National Assembly elections.
He has also failed to authenticate the winner in Senator Akpabio’s unit despite possessing video documentaries of alleged elections, claiming he left the venue with his boss before collation and announcement of results.
Anietie Ekong, testifying as PW17 in Tuesday, admitted under cross examination that he is a registered voter in Ward 13, Oruk Anam local government area, but never went to vote since he was busy with the Senator at his Unit in Ukana West of Essien Udim local government area throughout the period of the elections.
The media aide who was subpoenaed to appear before tribunal despite being a personal staff of the petitioner, brought DVDs and audio recordings which were watched by the tribunal.
However, Anietie Ekong admitted that he acted illegally as he was neither an agent and not an accredited election observer at Unit 9, Ukana West, told the tribunal he edited a Facebook video recording into a five minutes video he tendered.
In the video, the former senator is shown accompanied by his wife Unoma and some security officials and is later seen casting votes.
Reacting to the video, the Counsel to the PDP , Solomon Umoh SAN, asserted that Mr Ekong edited an alleged five hour video into 5 minutes distorting some critical information.
“Because you compressed the video, there are cut ins”, Umoh further argued
“Please can you show us where Chief Akpabio was accredited to vote?
“In this video Senator Akpabio wore a long sleeve on arrival but the man you have shown us in the video being accredited wore a short sleeve. Is that not ridiculous,” Umoh exclaimed.
Pointing out that without the use of a professional camera, it was difficult to clearly confirm which particular election was being shown in the video, the INEC Counsel U.U.Njoku argued that the petitioner had voted during the general elections in the same unit in 2011 and 2015.
“You will also agree that in 2019, other than the presidential and National Assembly elections, the Governorship election also held at the same polling unit”
“Yes my Lord”, Anietie Ekong confirmed.
On his part, Counsel to 3rd, 4th, and 5th respondents, Robert Emukpueruo said “the complete absence of results, either carbon copy or certified true copy for this polling unit is a negation of this video you have shown us”.
“In this video, would you show us where results were declared?” – Robert asked.
Anietie Ekong who appeared at a loss muttered, “I left with my Boss to attend to international journalists at my Boss’ house”
“So you were not present at the polling unit throughout the duration of the voting process?” Robert again asked.
“I was not present my Lord ” – Anietie Ekong added.