Court sacks A’Ibom senator, to refund salaries, allowances
The Federal High Court, sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, ordered the Senator, representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly, Bassey Akpan, to vacate his seat immediately.
The court, presided over by Justice Fatun Riman, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued to Akpan and awarded N200,000 costs in favour of the plaintiff, Mr. Bassey Etim.
The presiding judge, who ordered INEC to issue a new Certificate of Return to Etim, also directed the National Assembly to swear in the plaintiff as the senator, representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly.
Delivering the two-hour judgment, the court ordered Akpan to refund all salaries and entitlement he had collected so far as a senator to the Federal Government.
The court faulted the primary that produced Akpan as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party on December 7, 2014.
The judge said Akpan was foisted on the PDP at the detriment of Etim, who participated and was declared winner of the primary.
Riman stated, “The defence witnesses proved that they were not witnesses of truth because they presented conflicting and contradicting evidences and testimonies against themselves.
“The first defendant (the PDP) till today had succeeded in robbing Etim to pay Akpan. The third defendant relishes in the illegality perpetrated during the primaries.
“Therefore, the plaintiff (Etim) is the correct and only candidate of the PDP for Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District. What played out was the foisting of Bassey Albert Akpan on the PDP.”
Hailing the judgment, counsel for the plaintiff, Taiwo Abe (SAN), commended the judge for causing justice to be done in favour of Etim, who he said was the duly nominated candidate of the party.
Counsel for Akpan, Offiong Offiong, said he was dissatisfied with the judgment, adding that he would consult his client to determine the next line of action.