Professor Ignatius Uduk of the department of Physical and Health Education, University of Uyo, standing trial in a three-count charge has asked the Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge to re-assign his trial to another court.
Uduk, who is the defendant in a case with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said he has lost confidence in the State High Court 9 presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang
The University professor was the Collation/Returning Officer for Essien Udim State Constituency in the March 9, 2019, governorship and House of Assembly elections.
He is standing trial in a three-count charge of electoral fraud bordering on announcing false election results, publication of false election results and lying under oath.
After months of going back and forth, the defense counsel was scheduled to enter his defense on Wednesday May 18, 2022, but, the defense counsel informed the court that he has filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal against an earlier judgement of the Uyo High Court that dismissed his no case submission.
After listening to submissions by both the prosecuting counsel and the defense counsel, the presiding judge, Justice Bassey Nkanang said the defense counsel did not follow legal procedure in informing the court of his appeal. He ordered the defense counsel to proceed to enter his defense.
The defense counsel, ,however did not substantiate his claim and refused to speak with journalists.
The lead prosecuting counsel, Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN) said the INEC was not deterred by the development.
He explained that, “The implication of the development is that the case must start afresh under a new presiding judge to be assigned by the State Chief Judge.”