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Akpan renews claim to senatorial seat

Posted by By Willy Eya on 2008/09/14 | Views: 1600 |

Akpan renews claim to senatorial seat


Almost 16 months after the 2007 general election, the dust over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial zone is yet to settle.

Almost 16 months after the 2007 general election, the dust over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial zone is yet to settle.

According to a document sourced exclusively by Sunday Sun, there is still a raging controversy over the substitution of Chief Ime Albert Akpan, who won a total of 2,080 votes, with Senator Effiong Bob, who polled 926 of the votes in the party’s primaries of the zone in question.

Sunday Sun learnt that Akpan, who was immediately congratulated by the PDP hierarchy after the election, was substituted with Bob when he travelled abroad for a short holiday.
The document states among others that, " Chief Akpan left Nigeria for Europe on holiday and Senator Effiong Bob smuggled his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) website.
"On his return, he fought back to replace Senator Bob vide a substitution form and letters written by both the (former) PDP National Chairman, Senator Ahmadu Ali, and the (former) National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, to the INEC chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu."

Part of the allegations in the document is that Senator Bob used the last government machinery hence the INEC still retained his name in its website despite the fact that Akpan took the case to the Federal High Court, Abuja, and on April 18, 2007, Justice B.M.F Nyako ordered that INEC should replace Bob with Akpan as the authentic winner of the senatorial election for Akwa Ibom North-East.
The court also banned Bob from further parading himself as a candidate of the party.
At the peak of the controversy, the PDP hierarchy had in a letter titled, "PDP candidate in Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District: Chief Albert Akpan" informed the INEC that Bob was not the authentic candidate.

Addressed to the INEC chairman, the letter, which was signed by the then PDP chairman, Senator Ali, and Maduekwe, stated that for the avoidance of doubt, the candidate of the party in the constituency remained no other person than Chief Akpan.
"The attention of the National Secretariat has been drawn to the publication by INEC of the name of Senator Effiong Bob as the party’s candidate for the above constituency," it added, clarifying that, "Akpan won the party’s primaries and his name was duly forwarded in a substitution letter dated February 5, 2007, signed by the National Chairman and the Secretary and his candidate has been authenticated by a letter dated February 12, 2007 and signed by the National Chairman."

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