Joe Effiong, Uyo
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has identified one William Ndarake, a witness for the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship, Nsima Ekere, at the ongoing governorship election tribunal, as a fake.
The said Ndaraka had earlier appeared for Ekere as PW witness 44, in which he presented a video of election rigging purported to have taken place in the house of Christopher Ekpenyong, a senator representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district.
He also told the tribunal that he was kidnapped as an INEC ad hoc staff to the premises but he managed to record the said video.
But an INEC staff, Ikpong Inyang, told the tribunal that Ndarake was an impostor.
Testifying as a subpoenaed witness for the first respondent, Governor Udom Emmanuel, Inyang, who was the supervising presiding officer of Ward 4, presented the lists of presiding officers, supervisory presiding officers, and polling unit booklets, and said Ndarake, who claimed to be an INEC ad hoc staff, was not on any of the lists as an ad hoc staff in the election.
Inyang revealed that the said Ndarake and another man, he claimed was presiding officer in the video for Unit 004, Ward 4 in Obot Akara, were both impostors.
While being cross examined by PDP counsel, Uko Udom (SAN), the witness said the man, Ndarake identified as presiding officer in the video, was also an impostor because the presiding officer for that unit was a female national youth service corps member, named Ifeanyinwa Priscilla Ifeanyi.
The witness also identified Exhibit RSA564 as the result for Unit 004, which IIfeanyi signed as presiding officer.
He added that he was given the list of all the officials for Obot Akara local government area and he took attendance as the supervisory presiding officer in Ward 4.
Earlier, a digital forensic expert, Edidiong Udoh, had described the video evidence tendered by the petitioners’ 44th Witness, Ndarake, as a scam, stage-managed to mislead the tribunal.
Udoh harped his argument on the fact that the GPS was switched off on the video recording device by the producer to prevent analysts from tracing the location of the event in the video.
He said contrary to Ndarake’s evidence that the video was recorded under duress with the phone placed on the ground, the video showed scenes recorded by more than one person with the participants fully showing indications of being part of the plot.
“If the phone was placed on the floor, the only angle it would have captured would have been only one point of the roof of the building or one direction of the room, but the video shows activities of what happened even on top of the table and all angles of the room, meaning the device was in motion from the beginning to the end,” he said.
Under Cross Examination by INEC counsel, Sylva Ogwemoh (SAN), he said: “From my observation, over three persons were involved in the making of this video apart from PW44.
“PW44 also misled the tribunal by saying he later picked up the phone to continue the recording. All through the video, he is seen seated with legs stretched out and his hands on his thighs. This means the video was done by someone else,” he said.
“The person in front of the green table and the person who begged that his face should not be recorded were in the know of the video recording.
“There was someone who was doing the thumb printing. It was stage-managed and not done under tension or anxiety like PW44 claimed,” the forensic expert told the tribunal,” he said.