Home LEGAL Court sentences, Akwa Ibom Guber Candidate, Serving Senator, Bassey Akpan To 42yrs...

Court sentences, Akwa Ibom Guber Candidate, Serving Senator, Bassey Akpan To 42yrs For Stealing Public Funds

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The senator representing Uyo Senatorial District, Bassey Akpan has been sentenced to 42 years in prison without an option of fine for corruption.

Akpan, the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party, (YPP), Akwa Ibom State, was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissíon (EFCC).

Delivering her judgement at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, the presiding judge, Justice Agatha Okeke found Senator Akpan guilty on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and receipt of exotic cars worth two hundred and four million naira (N204m).

The presiding judge, Agatha Okeke, committed Mr Bassey to a federal correctional facility in Ikot Ekpene, where he will serve his term. He did not immediately file an appeal.

Senator Bassey Akpan

Senator Bassey Albert Akpan has been found guilty of fraud and sentenced to a 42-year jail term in a ruling that will likely put his governorship bid to a permanent rest.

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During the court proceeding, Defense Counsel Solomon Umoh (SAN) pleaded with the Court for leniency as the convict has a young wife and children to cater for.

He also pleaded that the court should temper justice with mercy by including an option of fine. But that was opposed by EFCC, citing legal authority to convince the court not to give fine as an option, particularly in the light of the fact that the court has not opted for the maximum sentence.

Delivering her judgement at the Federal High Court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Thursday, the presiding judge, Justice Agatha Okeke found Senator Akpan guilty on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and receipt of exotic cars worth two hundred and four million naira (N204m).

During the court proceeding, Defense Counsel Solomon Umoh (SAN) pleaded with the Court for leniency as the convict has a young wife and children to cater for.

He also pleaded that the court should temper justice with mercy by including an option of fine. But that was opposed by EFCC, citing legal authority to convince the court not to give fine as an option, particularly in the light of the fact that the court has not opted for the maximum sentence.

Akpan was arraigned by the anti-graft agency on June 24, 2019, at the Federal High Court, Uyo for corruption charges.

He was accused of receiving from Jide Omokore, a BMW X5 (bulletproof) worth N50 million in December 2012 and another Infinity QX 56 (bulletproof) worth N45 million from the same source.

In November 2013, he also received a Toyota Landcruiser V8( bulletproof) valued at N40 million and in March 2014, he received a Range Rover, valued at N40 million. Also in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof bus valued at N27 million was received from the businessman.

Additionally, he was prosecuted for receiving at different times between 2012-2014, Toyota Hiace High Roof buses valued at N16 million and six units of Toyota Hilux vehicles valued at N36 million.

Meanwhile, the senator has been taken to the Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, where he is expected to serve his jail term.

Mr Albert, 50, until his sentencing today, was the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2023 general elections.

READ ALSO : Governors Are Thieves, Stealing Local Government Funds – Buhari

The lawmaker from Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District was arraigned after an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) revealed that he looted public funds while serving as the state’s finance commissioner. The theft involved 12 cars worth N254 million.

He was first arrested and arraigned in the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court in 2018 after repeatedly refusing to honour invitations by the EFCC. His lawyers blocked the court from trying the matter, citing jurisdictional limitations of the court. After the case was dismissed, the EFCC, in 2019, filed fresh charges at the Uyo Division of the Federal High Court to bring Mr Albert to justice.

Mr Albert, who currently chairs the Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, committed the crime in connivance with Jde Omokore, oil marketer and known associate of former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke. Mr Omokore is also under the radar of the financial crimes agency, having been spotted as a key channel through which illegal funds were used to influence the 2015 presidential election.

The presiding judge, Agatha Okeke, committed Mr Bassey to Ikot Ekpene prison, where he will serve his jail term. He did not immediately indicate an appeal.

Me Albert’s imprisonment might pave way for a potential landslide win for the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umo Eno, against whom he tightly contested the PDP guber ticket before defecting to YPP months ago.

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