The State High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday, arraigned one Ignatius Uduk, a professor of Human Kinetics, Department of Physical Education, University of Uyo for allegedly involving in electoral fraud during the 2019 polls.
Professor Uduk, who was a Collation and Returning Officer for the State House of Assembly election in Essien Udim state constituency during the last general election, was arraigned on a three-count charge bordering on negligence to duty and unlawfully generating scores and entering same in form EC 8E(II), announcing and circulating false and fake elections results, Perjury and lying on oath.
According to the court, the offences are punishable under section122 subsection 1 of the electoral act of 2010 as amended, section 123 subsection 4 of the electoral act 2010 as amended and section 119, subsection 1 of the criminal code law, of the laws of Akwa Ibom State 2000.
The accused during hearing, however, pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge.
Meanwhile, the counsel to the accused, Samuel Ndah filed application for bail on behalf of his client, but was opposed by the prosecution counsel, Kpoobari Sigalo claiming that the accused has a questionable character.
The INEC Counsel addressing newsmen after the court session revealed that the court issued a bench warrant against the accused which had compelled him to appear before the court today and to file application for bail adding, “we filed our counter affidavit in opposition to the bail as we saw in Court that the matter has been adjourned to 14 December for ruling on that very application.”
“The character of the accused person actually prompted us to object his application for bail. This is not the first matter we are prosecuting. The other one we did not oppose to the bail application because the accused person on his own volition came to court,” he noted.
Sigalo maintained that the accused had after the election said he did not declare anybody as a winner, only for him to appear at the election tribunal to say the contrary adding that he (accused) had failed in several attempts to appear before the commission to debrief it of what happened but had resorted to writing a threat letter to sue the commission if it invites him again for questioning.
The presiding Judge, Justice Archibong Archibong adjourned the matter till December 14, 2020 for ruling on the bail application.