A professor in the University of Calabar, Peter Ogban, has been sentenced to three years in prison by High Court in Akwa-Ibom State, on Thursday, for election fraud.
Having found Ogban guilty of fraudulent manipulation of election results, publishing and announcing of false results, the court also asked the professor to pay N100,000 fine.
Ogban, a professor of soil science at UNICAL, and a returning officer in the 2019 general elections in Akwa Ibom North-West District, was charged for manipulating the election results of two local government areas – Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo.
Ogban had in a previous court session, told the court how the results of the election were falsified to give the All Progressives Congress (APC) an unfair advantage over its main rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In Oruk Anam for instance, some 5,000 fake votes were added to the APC’s score in the election.
The incumbent Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, was the APC candidate in the election. He was seeking a return to the Senate, after he defected from the PDP.
Eventually, the PDP candidate, Chris Ekpenyong, a former deputy governor in Akwa Ibom State, defeated Akpabio in the election, which was characterised by pockets of violence.
Ogban was prosecuted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the landmark case.
Before his sentencing, the university lecturer pleaded for mercy from the judge, Augustine Odokwo.