A High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, has fixed 25th March 2021 for delivery of judgment in a case of electoral malpractice involving a lecturer in the University of Uyo, Professor Peter Ogban, who served as INEC Returning Officer for Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the 2019 election.
Professor Ogban, a professor of Soil Science, was arraigned on two count charges in which he is accused of fraudulently manipulating election results in Etim Ekpo and Oruk Anam collation centres to allegedly favour candidates of the All Progressive Congress,APC.
He was accused of falsifying, publishing and announcing fake results in the Etim Ekpo and Oruk Anam local government areas of the state during the state House of Assembly election.
Meanwhile, Collation Officers who served in the election had testified, Monday against the accused.
During cross examination, Tuesday, Prof. Ogban who pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, was asked to provide sufficient explanations on how he came about the figures he had declared.
At the court sitting, Tuesday, 25th January, 2021 the Presiding Judge at High Court 2, Justice Augustine Odokwo, reserved judgement on the matter for March 25, 2021.
The Judge granted 14 days for parties in the matter to file written addresses, while the accused was given 48hours to respond.
Speaking with the press shortly after court proceedings, the Prosecution Counsel, Clement Onwenwunor said INEC was satisfied with the cross examination of witness during the court sitting. He explained that the prosecution was inline with the stance of the electoral commission to ensure that those involved in electoral crime are made to face the law.
However, the defense counsel, Francis Ekanem, (Esq) declined comment when approached by journalists.