1. The judge originally assigned for the case, Hon Justice I. Ojukwu, disqualified herself from presiding over the case after the Mr. Bassey Etim had petitioned the NJC over perceived bias.
2. The case was further assigned to Justice Fatunn Riman of the Federal High Court Uyo, who delivered judgment his Judgment on February 27, 2017.
3. On November 7, 2016, Senator Bassey Albert had filed a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC) accusing Justice Riman of bias and antagonism towards him and requested that the trial Judge disqualifies himself from the case.
4. Justice Riman went further to hear the case, refusing to follow the path of Hon. Justice I Ojukwu, who earlier disqualified herself from the case after a similar petition from Mr. Bassey Etim
5. The NJC reportedly queried Justice Riman on the petition forwarded to the council by Senator Bassey Albert. The trial Judge instead of responding to NJC’s query, allegedly opted for accelerated hearing of the case.
6. A new twist emanated last week, when the date for final adoption of written addresses, earlier fixed for February 27, 2017 was backtracked to the February 24, 2017 (three days earlier).
7. Parties affected presented their final written addresses to the court on Friday February 24, 2017 and the trial Judge hurriedly fixed Monday February, 27 2017 for judgment
8. In a lengthy Judgment read for more than three (3) hours, Justice Riman ruled that Senator Bassey Abert was not duly elected on December 7, 2014 as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and ordered that Mr. Bassey Etim be returned by INEC.
*Note: Senator Bassey Albert won the nomination ahead of six (6)other candidates who contested for the Party’s ticket at the authentic and approved venue for the primary election (Uyo Township Stadium), while Mr Bassey Etim reportedly held a parallel primary somewhere at Uruan. He was nowhere to be found at the venue of the primary. This position was earlier corroborated by the party (PDP) and others testimonies at the court.
9. Most interesting of all is the fact that while the Judgment was being read this morning at the Court, Mr Bassey Etim was reportedly spotted at the premises of INEC Abuja, to file a certified true copy of the Judgment delivered by Justice Riman. Reports say he was also at the National Assembly, asking to be sworn-in as Senator. One wonders how Mr Bassey Etim managed to get a certified true copy of the Judgment within a short range of time, when Counsel to Senator Albert could not be served the CTC of the judgment after three (3) hours.
10. Senator Bassey Albert in a Press statement through his office urged his supporters to remain calm and steadfast, as his the legal team have filed for a stay of execution of the judgment.
11. Senator Bassey Albert Akpan remains Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East in the red chambers, pending determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal and possibly verdict of the Supreme Court (If necessary) as the law permits for a pre-election matter.