Monday, February 27, 2017 4:13 pm
The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo on Monday nullified the election of Sen. Bassey Akpan representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District.
The ruled that Akpan was not duly elected in the primary election conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party on December 7, 2014.
The judge, Justice Fatun Riman , therefore, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Akpan and awarded N200, 000 costs in favour of the plaintiff Mr Bassey Etim.
The judge also directed INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Mr Bassey Etim of the PDP who was the authentic winner of the primary election.
Riman also ordered that Akpan should refund all salaries and allowances earned during his stay in the Senate to the Federal Government.
The defence counsel, Mr Offiong Offiong (SAN) told newsmen after the judgment that he would brief his client before knowing the next action to take on the matter.
Offiong said :“I cannot advise my client through the media, I will advise him as a professional certainly on the matter when I meet him.”
The lawyer to the plaintiff, Mr Taiwo Abe, described the judgment as a “ victory for democracy”.
“I am happy with the judgment, it is victory for democracy, and I can assure you no court of law will fault this 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,” Abe said.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) recalls that Etim had approached the court to remove Akpan as Senator for Akwa Ibom North East, arguing that Akpan did not contest in the PDP primary.