Corruption: Court Hands OBA 42-Year Prison Term
A Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, on Thursday, 1st December, 2022, sentenced Senator Bassey Albert to 42 years in prison for money laundering and graft.
Senator Albert, the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2023 election, was found guilty in all the six-count charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to the anti-graft agency, OBA, as Bassey Albert is fondly called, had while serving as Commissioner for Finance and Chairman, Inter Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee, received various exotic vehicles, including bullet proof cars, worth two hundred and four million naira from an oil magnate, Olajide Omokore, whose company did some contracts with the Akwa Ibom State Government knowing that the cars were proceeds of corruption.
The Senator had argued that the cars were given to him for his political campaigns, but the EFCC disagreed, saying investigation showed that the
defendant received the cars as Commissioner for Finance in 2014.
In her judgment read for about four hours, the trial judge, Justice Agatha Okeke held that Bassey Albert did not refute the fact that he received the car gifts and since he left office, he never received cars again from the contractor.
In each of the count, Justice Okeke held that the YPP Governorship candidate is to serve seven years imprisonment which she said, is to run concurrently with effect from the date of the judgment.
She said the sentence is to serve as deterrent to other corrupt public officials following the high prevalence of corruption among Nigerian politicians and the effect on Nigerian economy.
The Court held that Senator Bassey Albert is to restitute N204 million (two hundred and four million Naira) to the
Federal Government through EFCC before he is released after serving his jail term.