Akpabio’s Witness, Habitual Gossip, Lied Against Igini, Ekpenyong – PDP Counsel Submits
By Kpebo Thomas
The tribunal, sitting in Uyo Monday, recorded this from Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party, Solomon Umoh SAN during cross examination of Tiebiet Joshua, PW15.
Fielding questions on issues bothering on cancellation of National Assembly election results in Obot Akara where he claimed to have been a Local Government Collation agent, Joshua suddenly deviated to reply that “INEC acted in favour of the first respondent, Chris Ekpenyong”.
This prompted Umoh to question the witness further on how he got to know.
“The Electoral Officer called me and took me to Uyo, that Mike Igini was looking for me. He took me to Igini’s office and Igini begged me to change this figure”.
“The returning officer, Prof Ekanem is a PDP member. I was his agent when he contested for Local Government Chairman. If he could be the RO, my Lord, there would be issues of partiality”, the witness said
“Do you have his membership card and your agent tag when he contested election”, Umoh asked
“No’’ Johnson replied
‘Is this report contained in your witness statement?’ Umoh asked
“No” Johnson replied
“I put it to you that you have a habit of gossiping people. When you were docked, your first talk was about Chris Ekpenyong, threatening you not to testify. Now it is Igini and a PDP man but none is contained in your witness statement. You have a habit of gossiping people and that is the kind of witness you are”.
Robert Emukpoeruo, Counsel to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) questioned further “do you consider your alleged interaction with Igini to be very important?’
‘Yes’ replied the witness
“As important evidence, you did not state it the two witness statements you submitted to the tribunal in March and April to use as your evidence in this tribunal?”, Robert asked
“I did not”, the witness replied
Johnson also briefed the tribunal that results on INEC form EC8C(1) had so many cancellations and alterations but later agreed that his party agent had briefed him on corrections made during results collation.
“Are you aware that results of polling units were wrongly collated into form EC8C instead of ward result?” counsel asked
“Yes, I am aware my party’s collation officer explained to me”, Johnson replied
“I put it to you that it was this wrong collation that triggered corrections. Your agents signed unit, ward results without protest”.
Johnson however denied that correction was not the reason for mutilation of result sheets and his agents signed results with protests.