Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene on Thursday sentenced Professor Peter Ogban of the University of Uyo to three years imprisonment in a two-count of manipulation and falsification of election results.
Ogban was the returning officer in the Senatorial Election held in Akwa Ibom north-west in 2019 and the case was instituted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Akwa Ibom state against him.
The lecturer has been standing trial before a State High Court in Ikot Ekpene division since November 2020 on the allegation that he manipulated scores of two political parties, falsified and announced fake results in two local government areas of Etim Ekpo and Oruk Anam.
Witnesses testified during the trial. According to Channelstv, the witnesses, who served as collation officers for Orukamam and Etim Ekpo LGAs respectively, told the Akwa Ibom State High Court presided by Justice Augustine Odokwo, in their separate testimonies that the results they presented were different from the one declared by the accused.
In the Oruk Anam LGA election result, Enoidem noted that while his result showed that the APC scored 10,534 votes and the PDP 25,123 votes, the one declared by the accused had the APC with15, 534 votes and the PDP 20,123 votes, thereby reducing the votes for the PDP by 5,000 and increasing that for the APC by 5,000.
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Also, Dr Ekaidem, said while his collated result for Etim Ekpo LGA showed that the APC scored 2,671 votes and the PDP 6,603 the result finally declared by the accused was 5,671 votes for the APC and 3,306 for the PDP.
In his judgement, Justice Augustine Odokwo said the evidence before him was overwhelming and that the prosecuting counsel has proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
After pleas for mercy by the defense counsel and the accused (Ogban), the judge ordered the accused to pay a fine of N100, 000 on the first count and sentenced him to three years in a correctional facility with no option of a fine.