Four witnesses who testified on Wednesday at the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Abuja told the tribunal that the election was clearly won by Gov. Udom Emmanuel and the election was peacefully conducted throughout the state.
The witnesses were testifying while opening the defence of the respondents, that is, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Governor, in a petition filed by the APC candidate, Mr Umana Umana, challenging the respondents’ victory in the April 11th governorship elections in the state.
The first defence witness, Dr. Bassey Asuquo told the tribunal that the election was conducted free and fair, devoid of violence and that he voted in the polls.
Led in evidence by Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), counsel to the governor, the witness who claimed to be a medical scientist and PDP polling agent, denied allegations of ballot box hijacking and any form of violence.
He said the results were collated from all the 14 units in Uyo local government, except in three units where he admitted that the election could not be conducted because of violence allegedly ignited by one Mr Friday Edem, an APC ward chairman in the state.
He maintained that Edem allegedly obstructed the election process with a group of thugs and that all efforts to do accreditation by the officials of the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC) failed.
Under cross examination by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to APC and Umana, the witness admitted that 941 votes were recorded for the PDP in the units he claimed election did not hold.
He also read out collated nine results sheets from different units signed by one Joseph Okon Peter, who claimed to be a collation agent of the PDP.
Mr. Godwin Ndukude, another witness and a former commissioner for Transport in the state, claimed that the election was free and fair and that he voted in the poll.
He claimed that accreditation was done before the election, but could not point out a single name marked for accreditation on the voters register by INEC officials.
Justice Sadiq Umar, the tribunal chairman, after listening to the witness testimonies, adjourned till Thursday for continuation of hearing.