Nigerian Professor Jailed For Announcing False Election Result

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A High Court in Akwa-Ibom State has sentenced a Nigerian professor, Peter Ogban, to three years in prison, for election fraud.

Ogban,  a professor of soil science at the University of Calabar, was the returning officer in the senatorial election in Akwa Ibom North-West in 2019.

He was also accused of publishing and announcing false results in two local government areas – Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo.

The court which sentenced Ogban on Thursday also found  him guilty of fraudulent manipulation of election results, publishing and announcing of false results. He was also asked to pay N100,000 fine.

In a previous court session,  Ogban had told the court how the results of the election were falsified to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) an unfair advantage over its main rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

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For instance, some 5,000 fake votes were added to the APC’s score in Oruk Anam, in the election.

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,  Godswill Akpabio, was the APC candidate in the election. He was seeking a return to the Senate, after he defected from the PDP.

The PDP candidate, Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State, defeated Mr Akpabio in the election, which was gripped by pockets of violence.

Ogban was prosecuted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the landmark case.

The university lecturer, before his sentencing, pleaded for mercy from the judge, Augustine Odokwo.

Justice Odokwo, who described the case as a novel one, told the lecturer that there was not much he could do other than to let the law take its course.

He said the prosecution was able to prove its case against  Ogban, beyond any reasonable doubt.

 

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