News

December 2, 2022

Court jails Senator Akpan 42 years for corruption

By Harris Emanuel & Chioma Onuegbu

UYO—The Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has sentenced the senator representing Uyo senatorial district, Senator Bassey Akpan, to 42 years in prison for corruption.

Akpan, who is also the governorship candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the state, was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissíon (EFCC).

He was sentenced yesterday by Justice Agatha Okeke of the Federal High Court on a six-count charge bordering on money laundering and receipt of exotic cars worth N204 million.

Akpan, popularly known as OBA, has been taken to the correctional centre in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, where he is expected to serve his jail term.

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 with the court to tamper justice with mercy by including an option of a fine. But that was opposed by EFCC, citing legal authority to convince the court not to grant a 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.

The lawmaker 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 was also received from the same source.

Besides, in November 2013, he was said to have received a Toyota Landcruiser V8 ( bulletproof) valued at N40 million and in March 2014, he received a Range Rover SUV valued at N40 million; in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof bus valued at N27 million was received from the businessman.

The EFCC, which investigated money used for the 2015 elections, spotlighted 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 at the time had become a senator.