Akwa Ibom YPP Guber Candidate Bags 42 Years In Prison Over Corruption
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).
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.
The EFCC which was investigating 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 was a commissioner in the state and now a senator.
Meanwhile, the senator has been taken to the Correctional Centre, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, where he is expected to serve his jail term.
How Lagos RCCG Pastor Was Killed –Brother
A prosecution witness, Omoniyi Dada, in the ongoing trial of two teenage boys, Farouk Mohammed, and Kasali Jamiu, who allegedly killed a Redeemed Christian Church of God’s pastor, Babatunde, has told the court how he found out about his brother’s death.
Omoniyi, who is the first prosecution witness, told a Lagos State High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos State that he got to know that his brother was killed in the church when he received a phone call from his younger sister.
Justice Sherifat Sonaike remanded Mohammed and Jamiu on October 20, following their arraignment over the murder of the 46-year-old pastor.
At the commencement of trial, Omoniyi, who was led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution, Dr Babajide Martins, told justice Sonaike that before he got to the church, his sister informed him that the pastor’s corpse had been taken to the Navy Town Hospital.
The witness said, “According to my sister, Oluwakemi, on that fateful day, my deceased brother told her and the other laundry workers that he was going to the bank and that he would be back.
“She said when he returned, he went upstairs in the church to rest, and she was now thinking of why her brother had not come down after resting for quite some time.”
One of the laundry workers went up to pick a cloth to wash, on getting there, he screamed.
“The worker screamed and called the rest; they all met the pastor in a pool of blood and he was coughing out blood. They noticed that the two strange boys, Farouk and Jamiu, were not there.”
During cross-examination, the counsel for the first defendant, Oyekanmi Isijola, asked the witness how he got to know about the incident.
The witness confirmed that the whole incident was related to him by his sister, as he didn’t witness it.
The court could not proceed with the second witness, Inspector Daniel Olumuyiwa, because his name was not listed on the list of witnesses.
JUST IN: Appeal Court Upholds Conviction Of Maina’s Son
The Appellate Court in Abuja has upheld the conviction of Faisal, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, for conspiracy and money laundering.
Maina, the former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Taskforce Team, is serving an eight-year jail term at Kuje Prison in Abuja for pension fraud to the tune of N2 billion and his son has been named an accomplice.
Meanwhile, in a judgment on Thursday, November 24, 2022, a three-member panel of the appeal court reduced the term of imprisonment from 14 years to seven years on the grounds that he (Faisal) is a first-time offender.
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In the judgement by Justice Ugochukwu Anthony Ogakwu, the court held that Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja was right to have convicted Faisal.
“But as a first-time offender, the trial court ought not to have handed the convict the maximum punishment under the law,” Ogakwu added.
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