The trial of Professor Ignatius Uduk of the University of Uyo for alleged electoral fraud has been adjourned by a High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.
The court adjourned the matter on Monday because of application by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) prosecution counsel, Barr Kpoobari Sigalo, for a minor amendment to the charges against the defendant.
Uduak is alleged to have declared and published false election results during the 2019 State House of Assembly elections as INEC collation/returning officer for Afaha Ikot Ebak in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
After accepting the application by the prosecution counsel, the trial judge, Justice Archibong Archibong adjourned the matter to Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Sigalo told journalists after the matter was adjourned that INEC had actually filed its charges 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.”
Meanwhile, Uduak’s lawyer, Barr Abasiodiong Ekpeyong, expressed worries that the prosecution came to the court unprepared
“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,” Ekpeyong told newsmen.
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