A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has nullified the election of Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North-East) over alleged fraudulent substitution of names ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Fatun Riman said a former member of the House of Representatives, Elder Bassey Etim, should be sworn in as the authentic senator for Uyo Senatorial District.
Elder Etim had earlier approached the court with an allegation that Senator Akpan conspired with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and wrongly substituted his name.
He said Sen. Akpan never stood for the December 2014 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial primary election.
In upholding his prayers after the arguments by both counsels, Justice Riman asked Sen. Akpan to immediately vacate the seat at the Senate.
Riman also awarded N200,000 charge against the removed senator and thereafter ordered the Senate leadership to immediately swear in Etim as the duly elected Senator for Akwa Ibom North-east Senatorial seat.
The judge also ordered INEC to immediately issue Certificate of Return to Etim and at the same time asked Sen. Akpan to refund all entitlements accrued to him during his period which should be given to Etim.
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to Etim, Mr Taiwo Abe, hailed the judgement, saying it was a victory for democracy while counsel to the defendant, Mr Offiong Offiong SAN, rejected the outcome, saying he would consult with his client for the next line of action.