Independent National Electoral Commission begins defence at Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petition Tribunal

The Independent National Electoral Commission-INEC has presented its first witness at the Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Petition Tribunal filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress-APC Umana Okon Umana.

At the resumed hearing of the petition in Abuja yesterday, the witness, Pius Nwankwo, who is the Head of ICT at the electoral commission’s office in Uyo, informed the Tribunal that there were challenges with the card readers and Permanent Voters’ Card, but it did not affect the overall conduct of the election.

Nwankwo, who served as an Assistant Presiding Officer in all polling units, also told the Tribunal that the information from the data of the card readers were never transmitted instantly to the server at the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

Attempts by the witness to comment on the information he received from the field was opposed by the lead counsel to the petitioner Solomon Umoh, who argued that it was not pleaded in the witness’ statement.

Lawyers to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Paul Usoro and the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Tayo Oyetibo, expressed satisfaction with the evidence of the witness.

Equally, the lawyer to the petitioner, Dayo Akinlaja, expressed satisfaction with the evidence of the witness saying they had been able to obtain the needed evidence for their petition.

INEC is, however, expected to call more witnesses when the Tribunal resumes proceedings

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