-As Victor Antai testifies, says Nse Ekpenyong lied under oath
-“PDP thugs hijacked electoral materials” -Witness
BY OFONIME HONESTY.
At the election petitions tribunal for Oron Federal Constituency, sitting at the Environmental Sanitation Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the case of alleged forgery of West African Examination Council (WAEC) Certificate by Rt. Hon. Nse Ekpenyong, member representing Oron Federal Constituency, was on the front-burner.
Ekpenyong, a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has over the years been facing serial litigations for alleged forgery of the said certificate, the latest being a subsisting trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The Port Harcourt zonal office of the EFCC had arraigned Ekpenyong for allegedly forging his WAEC certificate and a National Diploma Certificate.
Rt. Hon. Victor Antai of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who contested for the Oron Federal Constituency seat in the 2019 elections, is challenging the declaration of Ekpenyong as winner of the election.
Testifying at the tribunal sitting on Tuesday, Antai noted that in the first instance, Ekpenyong was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election.
Antai accused Ekpenyong of lying under oath in respect of the controversial certificate.
Enumerating other grounds of his petition, Antai, a former Council Chairman of Mbo Local Government Area and former Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Akwa Ibom State, said he won the election by virtue of majority of lawful votes cast.
He also decried that the election was marred by irregularities, violence and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
Testifying further, he stated that in his polling unit, Uduo-Ebughu Ward 2 in Mbo Local Government Area, election was not conducted because of missing result sheets.
Counsel to Ekpenyong, Barr. Bassey Willie, however, noted that “only two result sheets were missing.”
Also testifying on Tuesday, Mr. Ini Bassey Ating, a resident of Oron, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of conniving to rig the election in favour of the Rt. Hon. Nse Ekpenyong.
“The thugs of the PDP and agents of the PDP ran away with the result sheets”, he added.
The panel adjourned to Thursday for further deliberations on the petition.
Rt. Hon. Victor Antai is the Petitioner, PDP is the 1st Respondent, Rt. Hon. Nse Ekpenyong is the 2nd Respondent, and Independent National Electoral Commission is the 3rd Respondent.