Peter Ogban, a professor of soil science at the University of Calabar, who was a returning officer in the 2019 general elections in Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district, has bagged a three-year jail term for election fraud.
Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, was the APC candidate in the election. He was seeking a return to the Senate, after he defected from the PDP.
Justice Augustine Odokwo of the High Court in Akwa-Ibom State yesterday found Ogban guilty of fraudulent manipulation of election results, publishing and announcing of false results.
Also, the judge asked the professor to pay N100,000 fine.
Ogban was charged for manipulating the election results of two local government areas – Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo in Akwa Ibom State.
During trial, Professor Ogban had told the court how the results of the election were falsified to give the All Progressives Congress, APC, an unfair advantage over the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He revealed that 5,000 fake votes were added to the APC’s score in Oruk Anam, in the election.
Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State and PDP candidate, defeated Akpabio in the election.
Ogban was prosecuted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the landmark case.
The university don, before the court’s ruling, pleaded for mercy from the judge,.
The judge who described the case as novel as it was the first time the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is prosecuting professors for electoral fraud, told Ogban that there was not much he could do other than to let the law take its course.
He said the prosecution proved its case against him beyond any reasonable doubt.