A FEDERAL high court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday, February 27, ordered Bassey Akpan, senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly, to vacate his seat immediately for Bassey Etim.
Justice Fatun Riman, presiding judge, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return it issued to Akpan and issue a new certificate to Etim, who court also awarded N200,000 costs in the suit.
Riman, in his judgement, who ruled that Akpan was not duly elected in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, held on December 7, 2014, similarly directed that Etim should be sworn in as the senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East in the National Assembly.
Besides, the court also directed Akpan to refund all salaries and entitlement he collected so far as a senator to the federal government.
Speaking to newsmen after the judgment, Offiong Offiong, SAN, counsel to Akpan, refused to disclose the next line of action, saying he would need to speak with his client first.
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.”
Taiwo Abe, counsel to Etim, said that the judgment was a victory for democracy. Abe said: “I am happy with the judgment, it is a victory for democracy, and I can assure you that no court of law will fault this judgment. My client has proved his case and I have no doubt even if they appeal or at the Supreme Court my client will still win.”
It was learnt that Etim had approached the court after the 2015 general
— Feb 27, 2017 @ 18:20 GMT