A High Court sitting in Uyo, of Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, adjourned trial in the case of electoral fraud involving one professor Ignatius Uduk of the University of Uyo.
Professor Uduk is standing trial for allegedly declaring and publishing false election results during the 2019 State House of Assembly elections when he served as collation/returning officer at INEC office, Afaha Ikot Ebak in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
The adjournment followed application for a minor amendment to the charge by INEC prosecution counsel, Barr. Kpoobari Sigalo, over the discovery that the written statement was not in the case file.
The presiding judge, Archibong Archibong upon the application for amendment of the charge by the prosecution counsel, however, adjourned trial to Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Speaking with newsmen after the adjournment, counsel for INEC, Sigalo said, “We came today for the hearing of the matter. We have actually filed our charge before the Court but we looked at the charge and there was need for a minor amendment of the charge. And in the process, we discovered that the written statement of the witness was not there.
“The court guided us to go back, put our house together and come back. So the matter was adjourned till January, 13, 2021 for definite hearing.”
Counsel for the accused Barr Abasiodiong Ekpeyong, had accused the prosecution counsel of not being prepared
He said “Today was for definite trial and the prosecution fill in their witness. The prosecuting counsel, indicated his intention to substitute the charge by way of amendment.
“Regrettably, it does appear he did not sleep well last night. So, he came in this morning unprepared and that was obvious when my Lord observed that his house was not in order.
“He came to court early enough. He wants to defend himself, but we all know what was on the other card, they came unprepared like they will always come unprepared anyway. That is want happened today, So the case is adjourned to Wednesday.