A cross section of Akwa Ibom State people have reacted to the court decision last week, sentencing the former University of Uyo and currently the University of Calabar Professor of Soil Science, Prof. Peter Ogban to three years in prison for intentionally and illegally falsifying results of the 2019 Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial election in favour of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio in his failed Senatorial bid.
Our reporter, who interviewed a broad segment of residents of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, was told that the judiciary must be hailed for being bold and standing on the tenets of fairness, transparency and the integrity of the electoral process.
“I want to specifically commend the Akwa Ibom State judiciary for standing firm and honouring the tenets of the law. The Judge, Augustine Odokwo deserves our collective appreciation and praise.
“Senator Godswill Akpabio is a bad advertisement of our democracy; he should be ashamed of himself. He was rejected by his people and he felt he could upturn the will of the people by rigging his way back to the Senate. But thanks to our judiciary, he failed,” a human rights activist, Comrade Samuel Akaninyene said.
“I hope others who think they can use the instrument of rigging would learn a great lesson from this,” a University Don who asked to remain anonymous said.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Ikot Ekpene, Chief Okon Anthony said; “He is an embarrassment to my party.”
Speaking further, he said “Akpabio felt he was God and he boasted of his powers endlessly not knowing that all powers belong to God and that He alone, gives power to whomever He so desires.
“He knew the people had rejected him massively and had resorted to rigging. It is a shame that a university don would allow himself to be compromised to carry out such an ignoble task. The Akwa Ibom judiciary should be commended, indeed.”
Across the nation, Nigerians have also come out in thousands to commend the Akwa Ibom State judiciary and the INEC for the transparency they brought into the process and specifically commended the INEC State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Barrister Mike Igini for standing up for the fairness in our electrical process.
“He is an upright and a man of impeccable character and convictions” a prominent community leader in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area who wished to remain anonymous had stated.