On Thursday, a high court in the state sentenced Peter Ogban, a professor of soil science at the University of Calabar, who was the returning officer in the election, to three years in prison for manipulating election results in favour of Godswill Akpabio, then-APC candidate.
In a statement on Thursday, Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the PDP, alleged that the APC bribed some professors to rig the 2019 general election for its candidates.
He said the ruling will serve as a deterrent to electoral officials who are planning to work for the APC “to subvert the will of the people” in 2023.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) commends the judiciary for its courage to stand on the side of the people to jail one of the corrupt returning officers, who connived with the All Progressive Congress (APC) to rewrite election results against the PDP in the 2019 general elections,” Ologbondiyan said.
“The PDP asserts that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with other corrupt returning officers, including some shameless professors who were heavily bribed and compromised by the APC to alter results and rig it into power at various levels in the 2019 general elections.
“It is shameful that individuals who had attained the peak of enviable career in the academia could submit themselves as willing tools in the hands of a fraudulent, debased and manipulative political party, like the APC, to alter election results and subvert the collective will of the people in the 2019 elections.
“Such individuals can now see the deplorable situation of economic depression, excruciating hardship, terrorism, killings, kidnapping, social and infrastructural decay, which their fraudulent and unpatriotic action has plunged our nation.
“If these unpatriotic elements had not manipulated our electoral process in favour of APC and allowed the will of the people to prevail, our nation would not have found herself in this sorry state.”
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