Bassey Albert Akpan, the senator representing Akwa Ibom North East, on Thursday, October 11, 2018, faulted the alleged refusal and neglect to declare assets charges filed against him by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property, SPIP.
Akpan in a statement described the charges as “malicious and trump-up” and another political ploy by his detractors aimed at misleading the courts and Nigerians.
He said that the charges were fabricated to dent his name in the face of the current political realities.
Akpan noted that the same panel had initially filed an application ex-parte with suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/378/18 to “forfeit my properties before Hon. Justice Dimgba of the Federal High Court Abuja and abandoned same after my lawyers filed a counter affidavit deposing to the true state of facts.”
He said that his lawyers filed that the properties sought to be forfeited were duly declared in June 2015, “when I assumed office as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
He noted that it was curious that the same panel turned round to file “these malicious and non-existent charges before Hon. Justice Tsoho of the same Federal High Court as a face-saving measure/defense to my libel and defamation of character suit against the panel chairman, Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla.
His case against Obono-Obla, he said, is pending before Hon. Justice Adeniyi of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Apkan said that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) mandates every public officer to declare his/her assets once within a period of four years, “which I have duly complied with as a law abiding citizen since 2007 when I became a public officer.”
He said that SPIP had applied and obtained his assets declaration form from the Code of Conduct Bureau for their records.
Apkan assured his supporters that he will never be detracted “by these desperate and panic measures aimed at intimidating and coercing me.”