The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, has denied that the jailed Professor Ogban rigged the Akwa Ibom Senatorial election in his favour.
Recall that a High Court had jailed the professor for announcing false election results in favour of Akpabio during the Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District election in 2019. However, Akpabio who lost the election to the PDP candidate denied any wrongdoing in a statement he issued.
The statement read, “In their desperation in a continuing campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State twisted the context of the judgment and maliciously claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Senator Akpabio. Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts of the case put a lie to this assertion. Contrarily, Senator Akpabio was a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District held on February 23, 2019.”
It continued, “Professor Ogban was the Returning Officer who in a bizarre twist to manipulate the election and rig Senator Akpabio out, hijacked the electoral results of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District from Ikot Ekpene, the Senatorial District headquarters to Uyo where it was announced after cancellations of lawfully collated votes and against the dictates of the Electoral Act. The question is: who was the beneficiary of the electoral fraud and manipulation in Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District?”
The statement added, “Certainly, not Senator Akpabio, which was why he challenged the outcome of the election up to the Court of Appeal which upheld his appeal and ordered a rerun election with very strong condemnation of the activities of the Returning Officer and INEC. How then could the same man whose actions Senator Akpabio was dissatisfied with and challenged in Court be said to have rigged the election for Senator Akpabio? For the avoidance of doubt Prof Ogban never announced Senator Akpabio as the winner of any election.”
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