A crack team from the Office of the Inspector General of Police, had on Good Friday, April 14, 2017 arrested a former member of House of Representatives, Hon. Bassey Etim for alleged forgery.
Hon. Etim was whisked away from his legislative quarters residence in Apo, Abuja by a special monitoring team from the Office of the Inspector General of Police to the Force headquarters, where he made statements to the police. He was subsequently released and asked to report back to the police on Tuesday, 18 April, 2017.
It would be recalled that Hon.Etim, who had last February, obtained a judgement from the Federal High Court Uyo in his favour had misdirected the court with some documents believed to have been forged. He had dragged Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas to court over the PDP candidate for the 2015 senatorial elections for Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District.
The presiding judge, Justice Fatun Riman had ignored a petition from the chairman of Akwa Ibom PDP, Obong Paul Ekpo, to the Inspector General of Police dated 2 December 2016 alleging “forgery of the 2014 Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District Primary Election Result Sheet and Delegates List of the party by Hon. Bassey Etim”.
In his petition to the Inspector General of Police, Obong Ekpo maintained that, if not investigated and prosecuted, the action by Etim will result in what he calls, “condonation of the breach of the law and the incitement of the perpetration of the said abhorrent offence”.
In his petition to the Inspector General, Obong Ekpo writing on behalf of the party had averred:
“In the build up to the 2015 general elections, the aspiring members of the party interested in representing Akwa Ibom Senatorial District at the upper house of the National Assembly indicated their interests to contest in the Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District (also known as Uyo Senatorial District) Election on the party’s platform by obtaining the Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms of the party.
“Prior to the conduct of the primary election and in line with the procedure stipulated in the party’s constitution for nominating candidates of the party through an electoral college, the party conducted ward congresses for the election of 3 Ad-hoc delegates to the party’s Local Government Areas and State Congresses across the wards and Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State on 01 November 2014. At the end of the ward congresses, the authentic list of the elected delegates, billed to nominate the party’s candidate for the 2015 General Elections was forwarded to the National Chairman of the party”.
Obong Ekpo further wrote: “Upon the clearance of the candidates scheduled to contest the primary election, the following aspirants emerged and ultimately contested in the said primary election held at Uyo Township Stadium on 07 December 2014: Senator Ita Enang, Dr. Dan Jack, Atim Binta Ali, Hon. Ekpe James, Prince Nsikak Okon, Hon. Usenobong Akpabio and Hon. Bassey Albert Akpan. In my capacity as the chairman of the party’s Akwa Ibom State Chapter and a member of the National Executive Committee, I was present at the Uyo Township Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where the PDP Primary Election was conducted for the Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District (also known as Uyo Senatorial District) on 07 December 2015 and at the end of the said primary election, Hon. Bassey Albert Akpan, scored the highest number of votes cast by the party’s accredited delegates as refelected in the authentic result sheet and was declared the winner…”.
On Bassey Etim’s suit filed at Federal High Court Uyo, Obong Ekpo expressed surprise that Etim, who never participated in the primary election conducted at the Uyo Township Stadium, annexed to his originating processes in the suit a forged result sheet showing that he participated in the primary election and emerged as the winner of the election.
According to him, “Upon citing a copy of the result sheet annexed to Hon. Bassey Etim’s originating processes in the suit, I immediately noticed that same is utterly different from the authentic result sheet issued by the party on the basis of the following discrepancies: while Hon. Bassey Etim’s name is not reflected on the authentic result for the sole reason of his non-participation in the Akwa Ibom Senatorial District Primary election held at Uyo Township stadium on 07 December 2017, his name was reflected in the forged result sheet annexed to his originating processes”.
In the face of such overwhelming evidence of fraud, Obong Ekpo implored the Inspector General of Police to “carry out a thorough investigation on this matter and arrest and prosecute Hon. Bassey Etim and his cohorts for the perpetration of the forgery of the result sheet and by so doing prevent him from carrying out further fraudulent acts against our great party”.