The court was taken by the storm today, August 23, 2019, as the lead counsel to the Petitioner, Okutepa, SAN described Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, a witness for the 2nd Respondent (the PDP), as a witness of Honour, stating that he has great respect for the senator from his days at the National Assembly. He even went ahead to apply for a seat for the witness. This was a surprise to the court as the learned SAN has never offered such courtesy to an opposing witness before.
To add to such verbal endorsement, Okutepa SAN also did not object to the the tendering of the Senator’s voter card as he said there was obviously no need to doubt him on such issues.
Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, testified as the 3rd witness of the 2nd Respondent, the PDP, in the petition filed by Obong Nsima Ekere against the re-election of His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel as the Governor, Akwa Ibom State in the March 9, 2019 elections.
The Senator adopted his deposition on oath as his evidence in the case. and further affirmed in oral testimony under Cross Examination that the election was free and fair in the state. He emphatically disagreed with the evidence of PW46, Obong Nsima Ekere where he said that the elections should be cancelled on the grounds that elections were not free and credible.