The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has dispelled claims that the jailed Electoral Officer in Akwa Ibom state, Prof Peter Ogban, was convicted for rigging election in his favour.
Professor Ogban was sentenced to three years imprisonment for allegedly manipulating results of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District election held on February 23, 2019.
Akpabio had contested the election under the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In a statement the Minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Aniete Ekong, issued on his behalf on Saturday, Akpabio described the reports that Ogban worked for him as spurious, saying he is a victim of the “fraudulent manipulation” of the election.
“In their desperation in a continuing campaign of calumny against Senator Akpabio, the INEC in Akwa Ibom State twisted the context of the judgment and maliciously claimed that the election was rigged in favour of Senator Akpabio.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts of the case put a lie to this assertion. Contrarily, Senator Akpabio was a victim of the fraudulent manipulation of the election of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District held on 23rd February 2019.
“He is vindicated that the perpetrators of the electoral fraud are being brought to justice. At last the chickens are coming home to roost.
“For the avoidance of doubt Prof Ogban never announced Senator Akpabio as the winner of any election. Instead he cancelled his lawful votes and announced Senator Akpabio’s opponent as the winner of the manipulated election,” he said.