The Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja was on Friday presented with series of video clips played before it of how the April 11, governorship election was allegedly manipulated and rigged in the state.
The video clips were tendered by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Umana Okon Umana, who had filed a petition seeking to nullify the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel of PDP.
The video clips showed how election materials were being secretly thumb-printed and stamped by some alleged officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
They also showed the petitioner complaining bitterly to some electoral officials on the shortage of voting materials at his polling but partial election was alleged to have taken place.
Testifying before the Tribunal, Umana maintained that there was no valid election in the state and asked the tribunal to cancel what INEC allegedly labeled an election.
He alleged that what took place in the name of an election conducted by INEC was a sham that should not be allowed to stay in law and in the interest of democracy.
In his evidence-in-chief at the tribunal, Umana insisted that figures were allotted to the individual governorship candidates in the election allegedly manipulated in the private houses of the chieftains of the people’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Led in evidence by his counsel Mr. Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), Umana told the tribunal that the rigging actually started in the March 28th National Assembly and presidential election when he and his supporters were turned back from voting in the areas where partial election took place .
The petitioner also alleged that at the elections, the state government conspired with the security agencies, mobilized thugs, who went round the state in vehicles provided by the state to hijack ballot papers and other election materials and moved them to the houses of the PDP chieftains where the materials were thump printed.
The petitioner claimed that as a candidate in the election, he was entitled to access the collation centre, but was turned back by security agents allegedly acting on the directive of the State Government.
Umana, therefore urged the tribunal to cancel the election which produced Governor Emmanuel and order INEC to conduct a fresh one that should be free, fair, credible and transparent.
He further explained to the tribunal in his evidence-in-chief, that the video recordings were done by concerned Akwa Ibom state indigenes, whose names he said he could not remember.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Sadiq Umar, adjourned to Aug. 26 to enable the defendants to examine the forensic reports tendered by the petitioner in his evidence-in-chief.