Peter Ogban, a professor of soil science at the University of Calabar, was sentenced to three years in prison by an Akwa Ibom high court for tampering with election results.
Mr Ogban, who served as the returning officer in the 2019 senatorial election in Akwa Ibom North-West, was standing trial for allegedly manipulating and falsifying the scores of election results in Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo local government areas in favour of the All Progressives Congress, APC, party.
Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, was the APC candidate in the election.
In his ruling, the Presiding Judge, Justice Augustine Odokwo, sentenced the accused to 36 months of correctional service and told to pay a fine of N100,000 for count 2 and 1 respectively, after the accused had pleaded for leniency.
The accused had pleaded for mercy on the premise that he has dependents including a 90-year-old mother to take care of, adding that he was a respectable member of his community and a very valuable and sought after lecturer in the Department of Soil Science, both in the Universities of Uyo and Calabar.
He said: “If I lose my source of income, it means all of my dependents I have mentioned will suffer, especially the condition of my aged mother.
“This is an eye-opener for anyone who participates in local, state or national activities to do so with dexterity and not take anything for granted to avoid an innocent person being embarrassed.
“I plead that you grant me 100 per cent mercy and allow me to go and continue with my responsibilities”.