Court nullifies Akwa Ibom senator’s election

Bassey Albert Akpan

A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo yesterday nullified the election of Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, who represented Akwa Ibom Northeast Senatorial district.

In his judgment, Justice Fatun Riman, said Akpan was not duly elected in the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held on December 7, 2014.

He ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to him and awarded N200, 000 costs in favour of the plaintiff, Mr. Bassey Etim.

The judge also ordered Akpan to refund to the Federal Government, the salaries and allowances that he earned during his stay in the Senate. Subsequently, Riman directed the INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Etim, who, he said, was the authentic winner in the PDP primaries.

The defence counsel, Mr. Offiong Offiong, told journalists that he would brief his client before deciding on the next line of action. But counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Taiwo Abe, described the judgment as a victory for democracy and a dark age for impunity.

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