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Senator Bassey Albert jailed 42 years for money laundering

The long arm of the law caught up with a serving senator of the Federal Republic on Thursday when a Federal High Court in Uyo sentenced the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Bassey Albert, to 42 years in prison for corruption.


Senator Albert, who represents Akwa Ibom Northeast (Uyo) senatorial district in the National Assembly, was convicted by Justice Agatha Okeke.


He was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


The court found him guilty and convicted him on the whole six-count charge bordering on money laundering.


He has been taken to Ikot Ekpene prison, Akwa Ibom State, to serve his prison term.


Senator Bassey Albert was accused of receiving a bribe of 12 cars worth N254 million from an oil marketer, Olajide Omokore, during his tenure (2010 – 2014) as Commissioner for Finance in Akwa Ibom.


The maximum sentence for each count is 14 years but the judge pronounced that he is to serve seven years for each of the six counts.


In addition, he is to return N204 million as restitution to the Federal Government after serving the sentence.


The judge did not include an option of a fine.


The defence counsel, Solomon Offiong (SAN), pleaded that the court tempers justice with mercy and include an option of a fine.


But EFCC opposed the plea, citing legal authority to convince the court not to grant the option of a fine, particularly in the light of the fact that the court had not opted for the maximum sentence.


The convicted Senator was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before he defected months ago to the YPP, where he secured the party’s ticket for the 2023 governorship election.


He was a major challenger to the PDP candidate, Umo Eno, in next year’s governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.







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