:: Cover Story... Monday, February 27, 2017.

Bassey Akpan Sacked As Senator, Ordered To Return All Full Salaries & Allowances Collected During His Stay In Senate
A federal high court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, has ordered the removal of Bassey Akpan, lawmaker representing Akwa Ibom north-east senatorial district.

Akpan was ordered to refund all salaries and allowances earned during his stay in the senate.

The court also declared that Bassey Etim, a former member of the house of representatives, should replace Akpan.

Etim lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senate ticket to Akpan, but filed a legal action against the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

He asked the court to declare him as the authentic candidate of the party in the 2015 election, arguing that he was wrongly substituted in the December 7, 2014 primary election.

In his ruling, Fatun Riman, a judge, ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Akpan, and awarded N200,000 costs in favour of Etim.

The judge also directed INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to Etim.

Offiong Offiong, the defence counsel, told reporters after the judgment that he would brief his client before knowing the next action to take on the matter.

“I cannot advise my client through the media, I will advise him as a professional certainly on the matter when I meet him,” he said.

Taiwo Abe, counsel to the plaintiff, 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,” he said.

“My client has proved his case and I have no doubt even if they appeal at the supreme court my client will still win.”

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