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How Akpabio rigged Akwa Ibom elections – Witness


Godswill-Akpabio1Chief Ekpeyong Ekpeyong, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Obot Akara local government area of Akwa Ibom State has told the National Assembly Tribunal sitting in Abuja how former governor, Godswill Akpabio allegedly rigged elections in the state.
Appearing before Justice Goddy Anunihu led
Akwa Ibom State National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition panel with respect to the Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State Constituency seat between Barr Austin Mbeh of the APC and Idongesit Ntekpere of the PDP, Chief Ekpeyong alleged that Akpabio masterminded series of state sponsored violence in 2011 and only worsened the tempo in 2015.
According to him, State House of Assembly elections were allegedly rigged, while perceived political opponents were killed, kidnapped and attacked by political thugs.
The witness alleged that the former governor carried out the actions in collaboration with Monday Uko, a former council chairman and currently serving Commissioner in the Udom led administration in the state. Attempts to stop Chief Ekpeyong from going on with his testimony by Barr. Uyobong, counsel to the PDP was overruled by the tribunal.
The witness told the tribunal how Akpabio and the commissioner allegedly hijacked ballot boxes and stuffed them with multiple thumb printed ballot papers.
Chief Ekpenyong further alleged that Akpabio sent him and others on political exile since 2011 and as such he was not allowed to enter his hometown to vote.
“On April 11, 2015, immediately after accreditation, armed thugs stormed his unit and Ward and hijacked all electoral materials as well as kidnapped INEC staff on election duty,” Ekpenyong said.
Continuing, he alleged that Godswill Akpabio gave an order to political thugs in 2011 to assassinate him when he was about to be given a flag by the then ACN Governorship candidate in the state, Senator J. J. Udoedeghe, to contest Ikot Ekpene/ Obot Akara/ Essien Udim House of Representatives seat.
“My Lord, they unleashed great mayhem on the rally ground, killed so many people in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo but God saved me and Udoedeghe while several others were not so lucky. It was the same violence of 2011 that was unleashed on April 11, only that this time, it was worse.”