Professor arraigned for election fraud, another accused go into hiding

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has arraigned Prof Peter Ogban before a High Court in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State for election fraud, while his colleague accused of participating in the alleged crime, Prof Ignatius Uduk is said to be on the run

Penpushing reports that, the university don, a Professor of Soil Science at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom was accused of trying to rig the 2019 Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District election in favour of the former Senator, Godswill Akpabio, of the All Progressives Congress.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a statement signed by Head of  the Department of voter Education and Publicity, Odaro Aisien, said Ogban  pleaded not guilty to the charges, adding that the runaway accused(Uduk) ought to have been arraigned as well .

Penpushing further reports that, the commission said Ogban “altered already-declared results at Polling Units and collated Ward results in Form EC8B delivered to him by Ward Collation Officers.”

“He changed the outcome of the election by reducing the score of a leading candidate by a huge five thousand (5,000) votes and increasing the losing candidate’s score by the same margin without altering the overall total valid votes cast to avoid detection’.

“Unfortunately for him, there is no perfect crime as the early information trigger tracking system of the Electoral Operation Support Centre (EOSC), fully activated throughout the period of the election, exposed him,” the statement said.

Penpushing also reports that, the commission said the other university don(Uduk),  attempted to rig the election for Akpabio, adding that, “Professor Ignatius Uduk, declared election results collated not by him, but by undisclosed individuals who only handed them to him to announce’.

“He admitted to this fact in his own handwritten (not typed) statement that he earlier signed, even though he refused to come back to the commission’s office for further debriefing to ascertain who delivered the prepared election results to him’.

“However, in another deposition, this time in a typed written statement on oath, Prof Uduk, driven in a dark tainted vehicle to the Election Tribunal venue, surprisingly stood as a witness against the commission, to defend the same election results he did not collate but were given to him by undisclosed persons,” the commission said.

Penpushing reports that, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured that the runaway Professor would later be arraigned saying, it was unimaginable to have university Professors, who ought to be role models, involved in election fraud.

“It is hoped that the arraignment of this calibre of individuals will deter others from reprehensible conduct of this nature and serve as a touchstone for the level of seriousness and integrity expected from personnel who may participate in future elections,” the commission stated.

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