An Akwa Ibom High Court has sentenced 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.
Prof. Ogban was also accused of publishing and announcing false results in two local government areas – Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo.
Ogban who was prosecuted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the case was also found guilty by the court of fraudulent manipulation of election results, publishing and announcing false results. He was also fined N100,000 fine.
Before his sentencing Thursday, Ogban pleaded for mercy from Justice Augustine Odokwo.
The judge however said there was not much he could do other than to let the law take its course, adding that the prosecution has been able to prove its case against the professor beyond any reasonable doubt.
During trial, 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), in places like Oruk Anam where 5,000 fake votes were added to the APC’s score in the election.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, who was seeking to return to the seante, was the APC candidate in the election, while Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State, was the candidate of PDP.
Ekpenyong defeated Akpabio in the election, which was marred by violence.
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