OrderPaperToday- Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom) has described the suit filed against him by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) as “malicious.”
The charges border on the Senator’s refusal to declare his assets.
In a statement by Senator Akpan on Thursday, he indicated that the same panel had initially filed an application ex-parte with the suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/378/18 to forfeit his properties before Justice Dimgba of the Federal High court in Abuja.
But the matter was abandoned after his lawyers filed a counter affidavit noting that the properties in question were declared when he emerged as Senator in June 2015.
According to the only Senator from People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom, the panel again decided to file “malicious and non-existing charges before Justice Tsoho of the same Federal High Court as a face-saving measure to my libel and defamation of character” with the suit no. CV/2157/18 against the panel and its chairman, Okoi Obono-Obla “which is currently before Honourable Justice Adeniyi of the High Court of FCT.”
It is worthy to note that the 1999 constitution mandates every Public Officer to declare his/ her assets once within a period of four years.
Senator Akpan stated that he had duly complied with the mandate as a “law-abiding citizen since 207 when I became a public offer and the SPIP had applied and obtained these assets declaration forms from the Code of Conduct Bureau for their records.”
He declared that he will never be distracted by “these desperate and panic measures aimed at intimidating and coercing me.”