The Federal High court, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has sacked the senator representing Akwa Ibom North East federal constituency, Bassey Albert Akpan.
The court nullified the primary process that produced Akpan as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for the election which saw him to the National Assembly.
Justice Fatun Riman who delivered the ruling also ordered Akpan to refund all salaries and entitlements he has so far collected as a Senator in the National Assembly.
According to Justice Riman, while delivering the court’s ruling stated that his challenger, Mr Bassey Etim is the authentic winner of the primary, who stands as the party’s candidate, and subsequent winner of the legislative election.
The court therefore ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately withdraw the certificate of return issued to Akpan, and issue same to Mr Etim from Uruan Local Government.
The judge also ordered the National Assembly to swear in Mr Etim as Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District.
This order for Akpan to refund salaries and entitlements collected as senator has again thrown up debates among watchers who have over the years argued that politicians whose elections to office are nullified should be made to refund whatever salaries and entitlements collected during the periods of illegal stay in office.
A number of politicians, namely governors and legislators whose elections have been nullified by the courts, and removed from office have over the years walked away with the booties they collected while they illegally occupied the seats.
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