A SERVING Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, Bassey Albert Akpan, has been sentenced to 42 years in prison for corruption.
Akpan is the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in Akwa Ibom for the 2023 general elections.
Justice Agatha Okeke of an Uyo Federal High Court convicted the candidate on six counts bordering on money laundering, including graft.
The judge committed Akpan to a federal correctional facility in Ikot Ekpene, where he will serve the jail term.
Akpan, the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, committed the crime in connivance with Jide Omokore, an oil marketer and known associate of former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke.
In May 2010, Akpan, who was then the Commissioner for Finance, Akwa Ibom State, was alleged to have received from Omokore a BMW X5 (bullet-proof car) worth N50 million. In December 2012, he allegedly received another Infinity QX56 (bullet-proof) worth N45 million from the same source.
Also, in November 2013, he received a Toyota Landcruiser V8 (bullet-proof) valued at N40 million from Omokore.
In the same vein, Akpan, in March 2014, received a Range Rover valued at N40 million and in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof bus valued at N27 million was obtained from the businessman.
Akpan was also alleged to have received, at different times between 2012 and 2014, Toyota Hiace High Roof buses valued at N16 million and six units of Toyota Hilux vehicles valued at N36 million.
He was first arrested and prosecuted in the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court in 2018 after repeatedly refusing to honour invitations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His lawyers blocked the court from trying the matter, citing jurisdictional limitations
After the case was dismissed, the EFCC, in 2019, filed fresh charges at the Uyo Division of the Federal High Court to bring Akpan to justice.
Delivering judgment on Thursday, December 1, Justice Okeke ruled that Akpan must serve seven years in prison for each of the six counts.
The jail term is to run concurrently.