The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is confident that more electoral offenders will be prosecuted following the conviction and sentencing of a university lecturer, Peter Ogban.
In a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party commended the judiciary for its courage to stand on the side of the people.
Ogban, a professor of soil science at the University of Calabar, was the returning officer in the 2019 Akwa Ibom North-West senatorial district election won by the All Progressive Congress (APC).
He was found guilty of two counts of falsification of election results and announcing fake results by an Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Ikot Ekpene.
The don was ordered to pay a fine of N100,000 on count one and sentenced to three years imprisonment without an option of a fine on the second count.
Hours after the judgment, the PDP described the court’s decision as a huge lesson for compromised individuals working with politicians to subvert the will of the people.
“It is shameful that individuals who had attained the peak of an enviable career in the academia could submit themselves as willing tools in the hands of a fraudulent, debased, and manipulative political party … to alter election results and subvert the collective will of the people in the 2019 elections.
“Such individuals can now see the deplorable situation of economic depression, excruciating hardship, terrorism, killings, kidnapping, social and infrastructural decay, which their fraudulent and unpatriotic action has plunged our nation,” it said.
The party added, “If these unpatriotic elements had not manipulated our electoral process in favour of APC and allowed the will of the people to prevail, our nation would not have found herself in this sorry state.”
According to it, the court’s judgment will stand as a deterrent to compromised returning officers and political parties that result alterations will have no space in the 2023 general elections.
Ahead of the polls, the PDP urged Nigerians and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remain vigilant, saying more efforts were being made to bring compromised electoral officers to book.