From JOE EFFIONG, UYO
The governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), and serving Senator for Uyo Senatorial District, Obong Bassey Albert Akpan, popularly called OBA, has been sentenced to 42 years imprisonment for corrupt practices.
Albert was sentenced on Thursday by the Federal High Court in Uyo, following a successful prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Though details of his imprisonment were still sketchy by the time of filing this report, Daily Sun however learned that, the erstwhile YPP candidate was said to have been checked into Ikot Ekpene correctional centre, where he would possibly serve his long jail term.
Bassey Albert Akpan (then the Commissioner for Finance Akwa Ibom State) was said to have received from Jide Omokore , a BMW X5 (Bulletproof) worth N50 million; in December 2012 another Infinity QX 56(bulletproof) worth N45 million was also received from the same source.
Again, in November 2013, he received a Toyota Landcruiser V8 (bulletproof) valued at N40 million and in March 2014, he received a Range Rover, valued at N40 million; in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof bus valued at N27 million was received from the businessman.
Additionally, he is alleged to have received 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.
The EFCC which was investigating money used for the 2015 elections, spotlighted one Jide Omokore, who was suspected as a conduit through which illegal funds were used for elections.
While interrogating the businessman, he mentioned his numerous transactions with Obong Bassey Albert, who by this time had become a Senator.
The EFCC on June 24, 2019 arraigned Sen. Bassey Albert at the Federal High Court, Uyo and the case has been ongoing since then despite several chronic delays by Sen. Albert’s team.
While the case was ongoing at Ikeja, Obong Bassey Albert, through his lawyers, filed a preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court. They prayed the court as follows, “There is nothing in the proof of evidence that suggested that any aspect of the alleged crime against the first defendant was committed outside Akwa-Ibom State and in Lagos State.
The EFCC on June 24, 2019 arraigned Sen. Bassey Albert at the Federal High Court, Uyo and the case has been ongoing since then despite several chronic delays by Sen. Albert’s team
The convicted senator was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, the ruling party in the state, before he defected months ago to the YPP, where he secured the party’s ticket for the 2023 governorship election.
He seemed to have enjoyed a lot of support especially from the youth, even as his supporters had accused Governor Udom Emmanuel of setting him (OBA) for imprisonment so that the PDP candidate , Pastor Umo would have a smooth sail to victory.
The governor had vehemently denied the allegation personally and through his aides, insisting that he had neither testified, authorized anybody to testify in the case; nor tendered any document from government .