A Nigerian professor of soil science at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom, who was arraigned last year by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for election fraud in Akwa Ibom State, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment by Justice Augustine Odokwo of Akwa Ibom High Court.
Professor Peter Ogban had pleaded not guilty to the charges of forging and announcing fake results for 2019 Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District election in Etim Ekpo, Oruk Anam Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, by adding 5000 votes for APC and reducing PDP’s 5000.
When the electoral body arraigned him last year, it said Professor Ogban who was the returning officer, “altered already-declared results at Polling Units and collated Ward results in Form EC8B delivered to him by Ward Collation Officers.
“He changed the outcome of the election by reducing the score of a leading candidate by a huge five thousand (5,000) votes and increasing the losing candidate’s score by the same margin without altering the overall total valid votes cast to avoid detection.
“Unfortunately for him, there is no perfect crime as the early information trigger tracking system of the Electoral Operation Support Centre (EOSC), fully activated throughout the period of the election, exposed him,” the election commission said.
The election commission at Ogban’s arraignment said it was unimaginable to have a university professor, who ought to be a role model, involved in election fraud.
Following the court pronouncement on Professor Ogban, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hailed the court for its decision, saying that more riggers will be brought to book.
In a statement by PDP’s publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party commended the judiciary for its courage to stand on the side of the people to jail one of the corrupt returning officers.