Nigeria: YPP Reacts to Jailing of Its Akwa Ibom Candidate for Corruption

The party said they will appeal the judgment.

The governorship campaign council of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom State has reacted to the imprisonment of its candidate, Bassey Albert, for corruption.

A Federal High Court in Uyo, on Thursday, convicted and sentenced Mr Albert to 42 years in prison on a six-count corruption and money laundering charge.

The sentence is to run concurrently.

Mr Albert, a senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East District, was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which accused him of receiving a bribe of 12 cars worth N254 million from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, while serving as commissioner for finance in Akwa Ibom State between 2010 and 2014.

Justice Agatha Okeke delivered the judgment amidst tight security around the court premises.

Mr Albert has been taken to Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre, Akwa Ibom, to serve his prison terms

‘Travesty of justice’

Reacting to the court judgment, the chairman of the YPP governorship campaign in Akwa Ibom, Emem Akpabio, described the court judgment as “judicial absurdity” and “travesty of justice”.

Mr Akpabio, who stated this in a statement released hours after Mr Albert was taken to prison, said they would appeal the judgment.

He called on the party supporters to remain calm.

Mr Akpabio said the YPP campaign condemns and rejects the conviction and jailing of Mr Albert, saying “his innocence was glaringly obvious from day one that the EFCC instituted the case.”

“The dust it (the judgment) has stirred against the judiciary would only be redeemable by a reversal,” Mr Akpabio added.

He said the development was a temporary setback designed to test their faith and propel the YPP to the height of freedom.

He cited the Biblical figure, Joseph, who came from prison to become the prime minister of Egypt.

He also cited Nelson Mandela, who came from prison to become South African president.

“The mission to redeem Akwa Ibom State from the decadent administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel remains unstoppable.

“In this regard, we make bold to declare publicly that Mr Albert remains the arrowhead of this movement, and we collectively and individually stand by him and remain irrevocably committed to this genuine cause.

“Akwa Ibom State must be free and freed from underdevelopment, want and lack being inflicted on the people,” Mr Akpabio said.

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