The first respondent witness, Sylvester Inyang, in the petition challenging the declaration of Christopher Ekpenyong, as the winner of Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district, Monday, threw members of panel, counsel and the entire audience into a roaring laughter when he suddenly developed sight problem.
Senator Godswill Akpabio and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are challenging the validity of the emergence of Ekpenyong as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West.
Respondents in the petitions are Ekpenyong, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), INEC, Returning Officer for Senatorial district and Mike Igini , Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state.
When the first respondent, Ekpenyong , opened his defence Monday, as led by his counsel, Uche Njoku, Inyang said he was a business man and politician, who served as a agent of the senatorial district of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential and national assembly election.
Led through the examination by Njoku, the witness said he was at the senatorial collation centre where he witnessed both the collation and announcement of result.
He said there was no doubt as to the authenticity of resit as announced by INEC.
He testified that the cancelled aspect of the result sheet was done by INEC’s collation officer after he wrongly entered polling units results rather than wards results of Obot Akara Local Government Area, one of the contested local governments in the district, into the result sheet.
He was made to study the result sheet to observe the cancellation to which he responded that figures recorded on the sheet were correct.
The same result sheet was also used to cross examined Inyang by the second and third to fifth respondents’ counsel, Solomon Umoh and Ifeoluwa Odeniran
However, when the petitioner’s counsel, Sunday Ameh, cross examined hm on the same result sheet, Inyang feigned eyes problem.
When he was shown the document, Inyang said the letters were too faint for him to see. “Read out the number of accredited voters on the sheet”, Ameh asked the witness. “I can’t see anything, it is too faint,” Inyang replied.
Asked if it was not the same document used by the respondents, he repeated he can not see anything because he has eyes problem and was going to collect his reading glasses today.
He was given another document and was asked to read out the figure and code in column 11.
He repeated, “I can’t see any figure because of my bad eyes.;”
In all three documents were shown to him to which he gave the same reply. Nickname “I can’t see”, by the audience, Inyang said he does not know whether it was anomaly if the number of voters were more than those accredited.
Meanwhile, Ameh insisted that the number of accredited voters were inconsistent with those who voted, adding those who were accredited stood at 19,632 whilst number of votes cast stood at 20,117. This, he said, was as a result of over voting.
The second respondent witness, Kaure Augustine, who said he is a politician and business man, but was busted by Ameh to be a lecturer at he Akwa Ibom College of Science and Technology. He admitted he was a part time lecturer in the school.
He said he was the agent of Zenith Labour Party in the senatorial district, though the party did not field candidates for national assembly election but had a presidential candidate.
When asked to point out the logo of his party in the voting form, he said it was omitted by INEC but was directed to vote for the PDP presidential candidate.
Also questioned whether he was an agent of a party that had no candidate or party whose logo was not on the ballot paper, Augustine said he was agent for the Zenith Labour Party.
The panel adjourned till tomorrow, Tuesday, for continuation of first respondent’s defence.