Senator Godswill Akpabio today watched as an INEC returning officer for Ekpenyong Ward 1 in Essien Udim local government area, Ammba Ammba, revealed the harrowing experience of INEC officials in the hands of APC armed thugs during the February Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

At the ongoing National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Uyo, Ammba in an emotional tone, narrated that he and some of his colleagues were abducted by heavily armed thugs to a compound where there was no network and kept for a long period under very harsh conditions by the former governor’s armed men.

He added that Presiding Officers were kept in captivity between the hours of 8:00am and 6:30pm, where they were forced to thumbprint and write results in favour of Senator Akpabio in Essien Udim.

The incumbent Senator Ekpenyong was absent during the session as he was said to be attending plenary in Abuja.

Ammba who appeared for the defense team as DW3 after being subpoenaed to tribunal, tendered his report of the 2019 general election dated 23/02/2019 to be used as an evidence with his deposition.

Under re-examination by the INEC Counsel Ifeoluwa, Ammba explained that the reports signed by polling officials marked as P445-P449 were written at gunpoint while under captivity of Senator Akpabio’s armed bandits.
Ifeoluwa: “Look at Exhibits P445-P459. From your reports, these results were written under threat to lives of Presiding Officers in your ward. Is that so? ”

Ammba: “That’s correct my Lord”

Ifeoluwa: “On the first page, you’d see Ekpenyong 1 is listed as one of the wards affected by the cancellation. Am I correct?”

Ammba: “That’s correct My Lord”

Ifeoluwa: “Open the second page all 15 polling units in Ekpenyong 1 are listed in Exhibit R352A. Is that not so?”
Ammba: “That’s correct”

The INEC official also explained that the voter’s registers used for the elections had on them, the date they were printed, being Saturday, January 12, 2019.

“These registers were printed before the Presidential and National Assembly Elections,” Ifeoluwa asked?
“That’s correct my Lord” Ammba replied.

Ifeoluwa: “So I’d also be correct to say that these were the registers that were distributed and used during the elections?”
Ammba: “That’s correct my Lord”
Relying on the voter’s register marked as R40-R55, Ifeoluwa extracted from the witness, an affirmation that the boxes meant to be ticked as an indication of accreditation, were not actually ticked.
Ifeoluwa: “Please look at the Exhibits again and confirm that there are no tickings on the boxes for accreditation for Presidential and National Assembly Elections”.

“I can confirm that there are no tickings for accreditation for Presidential and National Assembly Elections” – Ammba

Ifeoluwa: “I put it to you that since there are no tickings for accreditation on voter’s registers, it means there was no accreditaion”

Ammba: “That’s correct my Lord”
Ifeoluwa: “Because of this lack of accreditation, that’s why the 15 polling units in your ward were cancelled. Is that so? ”
Ammba: “Yes my Lord”