There was a mild drama yesterday, Wednesday, September 16, at the Akwa Ibom National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.
This Day reports that one of the witnesses of former governor Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Stanley Annah from Ikot Ekpene, suddenly turned blind. Anna, a supposed graduate of agriculture, had told the election tribunal that election held in all polling units of the council.
However, when it was time for Annah to read out the total number of accredited voters based on the card reader for Ikot Ekpene on exhibit P19, he went blind. He said: ‘I can’t see anything, I can’t read.”
This made the election tribunal ask him if he is truly a graduate. He answered in affirmative but went ahead to say that he still couldn’t read the figures in the document. He also went ahead to say that he does not have an idea of the number of polling units in Ikot Ekpene. However, after several minutes of trying to dodge the questions, he reluctantly read out 22,761 as the total number of accredited voters for Ikot Ekpene.
The counsel to the 1st respondent, Offiong Offiong, SAN, urged the court to protect witnesses from vigorous cross examination from the petitioners’ counsel, Chief Assam Assam, SAN. The tribunal chairman, in response to him explained that it is their duty to answer questions posed to them at cross examination while the tribunal will only not down those who claim in their statement on oath that they are graduates but pretend they can’t read when inside the witness box.