The odds are against Deacon Udom Emmanuel, the unsettled occupant of the Hill-top mansion. The “most compromised” (apology to Senator Akpabio) State Resident Electoral commissioner (REC) Mike Igini and his cohorts had announced Udom winner of the 2019 governorship election adjudged widely by pundits as flawed and outside the realm of a free, fair and credible election.
Now, Deacon Emmanuel is confronted with a herculean hurdle; a monumental task before the governorship election petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo where a leading contender in the election, Obong Nsima Ekere, the APC candidate is challenging the impropriety of the peoples mandate conspiratorially handed Udom by the electoral umpire. Talking about conspiracy, Igini had prior to the election shown himself both in his public utterances and conduct as one highly prejudiced against APC in the state. Igini’s various acts of subversion against the Party and collusion in declaring Udom Emmanuel winner did not come as a surprise to many who saw the REC’s hand writing on the wall.
In his accustomed cool and calculated pose, Ekere and his Party rather than take the law into their hands by instigating public disorder and violence choose to tow the path of rectitude by approaching the Election Tribunal for justice. He set about collecting and preparing a dossier of information and facts to illustrate that Udom’s purported victory was afterall a farce; a fraudulent one for that matter. While Ekere and his team toiled in silence preparatory to presenting a robust case at the Tribunal, the #only God# team were busy celebrating the ill-gotten peoples mandate in churches and public places across the state encouraged by Dubois “fathers of faith”. The celebration attained disgusting height at tax payers expense considering the cost of travel and hosting guest invited to grace the deceitful and pretentious “Thanks Giving Services”.
Before I digress, regular viewers of the movie series, Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) know that those who perpetrate criminal activities almost always leave traces at the crime scene. Yes, that is equally true of election fraudsters who careful study and investigation have shown always leave behind traces and exhibits of their ignoble acts. Udom’s undeserving quest and zest to return to the Hill-top mansion devoid of any iota of caution has become the dilemma of the qua Ibo church Deacon as evinced in the testimonies of witnesses and exhibits before the Tribunal.
In the words of one of the Respondents counsel, the “monstrous exhibits” and veracity of eye witness accounts given in evidence by Ekere’s witnesses have sent shock waves through Udom’s legal team. To the utter chagrin and consternation of observers at the proceedings, the Tribunal learnt first-hand the testimony of Ekere’s witnesses drawn from across the state similarities in the mode of execution and pattern with which the election fraud was perpetrated. Anomalies at the election included but not limited to;
(1) no voting at all in many polling units arising from hijack and evacuation of voting materials alongside INEC ad-hoc staff by militants and thugs loyal to the PDP.
(2) Disruption of voting exercise by persons loyal to the PDP where APC was in a clear lead thereby forestalling sorting and counting of ballots at the polling unit.
(3) where voting was done at all, failure to announce polling unit results as prescribed and entering same in the designated form – EC8A.
(4) Failure to collate unit results at designated ward collation centres as prescribed and instead proceeding to do same at the local government collation centre contrary to the 2019 Electoral guidelines.
(5) Vote buying as voters were made to hold-up their ballot for sighting and paid by PDP Agents
(6) Denial of access and non-admission of APC ward collation Agents at the local government collation centre with the use of armed uniform men.
(7) Results were concocted and allocated in favour of PDP in collusion with INEC officials and PDP Agents.
Such concocted results were fraudulently entered in Form EC8B purporting same to be official results collated in each local government. These and many other forms of election infractions were narrated by the witnesses at the Tribunal.
While Ekere is yet to conclude his witness testimony, Udom is unsettled and jittery as demonstrated in the failure of Respondents counsel (for obvious reasons) to cross examine one of Ekere’s key witness.
For Udom and his legal team, it is a herculean task of gargantuan dimension for him (as expected) to proof to the Tribunal that he won the 2019 governorship election fair and square in the 2,980 polling units across the state.
Akwa Ibom deserves the best.