The High court in Akwa Ibom State has sentenced Professor Peter Ogban of the University of Calabar to three years in prison for fraudulent manipulation of election results which led to the declaration of Senator Goodswill Akpabio as the winner.
Mr Ogban was the returning officer in the senatorial election in Akwa Ibom North-West in 2019 but was accused by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), of publishing and announcing false results in two Local Government Areas, Oruk Anam, and Etim Ekpo.
The professor of soil science had earlier confessed before the court how results were falsified to give the ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC), an unfair advantage over the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Daily Trust reported.
The court, however, found him guilty of altering the results of the election to favour the APC against its main rival. Justice Augustine Odokwo, sentenced the accused to 36 months of correctional service in addition to paying N100,000 fine each for count 1 and 2 after he pleaded for leniency.
While Mr Akpabio who is now a minister was the candidate for the APC in the election, Chris Ekpenyong was the candidate for the PDP.
Mr Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State, was eventually declared winner of the election, albeit causing some pockets of violence in the senatorial district.