Bassey Albert Akpan: Court Nullified Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District Election

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In the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Uyo Judicial Division, holden in Akwa-Ibom. On Monday 27th February 2017, the Hon. Court under the presiding Justice Fatun Riman nullified the election of Senator Bassey Albert Akpan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District in the National House of Assembly.

The Hon. Court ruled that Senator Bassey Albert Akpan was not duly elected in the internal party primary election conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party on December 7, 2014.

Mr. Bassey Etim of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenged the internal party primary election that brought Senator Bassey Albert Akpan as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Bassey Etim’s counsel had approached the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Uyo Judicial Division, Akwa Ibom to remove Senator Bassey Albert Akpan as Senator for Akwa Ibom North East, and arguing that Senator Albert Akpan did not contest in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) internal primary election.

The Hon. Court faulted the internal primary election of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that produced Senator Bassey Albert Akpan as the party flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the general election and subsequent election that made him senator of the National House of Assembly.

The Hon. Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Uyo Judicial Division, Akwa-Ibom, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), national body in election matter to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Senator Bassey Albert Akpan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District in the National House of Assembly. The Hon. Court also awarded N200, 000 costs in favour of the Mr. Bassey Etim’s counsel in the matter.

The Hon. Court also ordered Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to Mr. Bassey Etim of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who was the authentic winner of the internal primary election conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Mr. Bassey Etim and Bassey Albert Akpan are members of the same political party The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Hon. Court also ordered that Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, who purportedly won election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in the general election, should refund all the salaries and allowances he earned during the period he served as a member of the National House of Assembly to the National Assembly of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Senator Bassey Albert Akpan’s counsel, Offiong Offiong, Esq. (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) briefed newsmen on the court judgment that he would brief and advise his client Senator Bassey Albert Akpan before knowing the next action to take on the matter whether or not to appeal the judgment of the Hon. Court.

Mr. Offiong Offiong Esq. (Senior Advocate of Nigeria) stated that “I cannot advise my client through the media, I will advise him as a professional certainly on the matter when I meet him.”

While the counsel to Mr. Bassey Etim, Mr Taiwo Abe Esq. described the Hon. Court judgment as a “victory for democracy”.

Mr. Taiwo Abe Esq. disclosed and stated that “I am happy with the Hon. Court judgment, it is victory for democracy, and I can assure you no court of law will overrule this Hon. Court’s judgment. My client has proved his case and I have no doubt even if they appeal at the Supreme Court my client will still win,” Mr. Taiwo Abe Esq said.

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