Tribunal witness, Elder Enefiok Ekefre who said he is a caucus member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party in Akwa Ibom State stated that the party lost the governorship elections because it did not work hard.
Speaking on Tuesday as Respondent Witness (RW) 16 during the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Ekefre admitted that APC did not win the election, adding that he had advised his party to work hard and carry out grassroot campaigns as power belonged to the people.
He said unfortunately, his party did not heed his advice and so lost the election to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the electorates voted for the PDP.
He said the results of the election in the state as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was transparent, adding that INEC officials did not in any way connive with any of the parties during the elections.
He explained that there was no incidence of thuggery, ballot box snatching or violence in his polling unit, 007, ward 7 in Uyo local government area, adding that he was duly accredited to vote in the election which went on smoothly.
“APC did not win the election. APC lost because they did not work hard enough to win the election as people in the grassroot own the power. The election result in Akwa Ibom as announced by INEC was transparent; PDP is the party Akwa Ibom people voted for.
“Power belongs to the people and not the party. I advised my party to carry out grassroots campaign to win. They did not heed my advice, that is why we lost.”
“There was no incidence of thuggery, ballot box snatching or violence. Because of my past experience in politics, I can say INEC staff were transparent and there was no connivance of INEC officials with any party,” he stated.
The tribunal had earlier denied the witness the opportunity of presenting his Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) as evidence that he was duly accredited for the elections and voted.
Counsel to the Petitioner, J. S. Okutepa (SAN) had argued against the 2nd Respondent, Tayo Oyedepo tendering RW16 PVC in court as evidence, as the name the witness used to identify himself at the tribunal did not totally tally with what was written on his PVC.
During cross examination by the petitioner, Ekefre said he was not aware that INEC cancelled elections in 245 units in the state because of violence.
He further denied knowledge that 23 persons were accredited to vote in his unit against 287 registered voters as shown in Exhibit PTA 2163.
He however admitted that the letter he presented to the tribunal as evidence that he was a caucus member of the APC was issued and signed by the former Chairman of the APC, Dr Amadu Attai.