By Chukwuemeka Njoku, Abuja
The political feud over who is the validly elected senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial Zone in the National Assembly has taken another dimension following an alleged threat to life of Barr Ochai Otokpa, a lawyer in the legal unit of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Otokpa, in a petition addressed to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, alleged that Senator Bassey Albert Akpan, the sacked Senator representing the Zone in the National Assembly, had threatened to kill him for withdrawing an appeal filed by the PDP challenging his removal by the Federal High Court, Uyo on February 27, 2017.
In that judgment, the court declared Bassey Etim as the Senator-elect to represent the district.
The petition was dated September 25, 2017, and written on Otokpa’s behalf by Firma Nexus Chambers.
The said petition was received at the Police Headquarters on September 28, 2017.
In the letter, Otokpa alleged that Senator Akpan invaded his office with thugs, locked him up in the inner office of the National Legal Adviser of the PDP and harassed him thoroughly, snapped him with his phone and threatened to take his life should he lose his seat at the National Assembly.
“It is our client’s brief that on Tuesday, 19th September, 2017, at about 4:00pm, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan invaded the office of the National legal Adviser of the party (PDP) at the National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza with thugs numbering between four and six in apparent attempt to injure or assassinate him our client, the petitioner stated.
“It is our client’s brief that Senator Bassey Albert Akpan entered the inner office of the National Legal Adviser and our client was called to come in and when our client entered, Senator Akpan asked our client if he is Barr Ochai and our client answered in the affirmative.
“Immediately, Senator Bassey Akpan took picture of our client with his phone and locked the door, put the key in his pocket and started assaulting our client, threatening to kill him for carrying out the lawful instruction given to him to file notice of withdrawal of the Appeal of the party.
Recall that since the court sacked Akpan, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki has not sworn in Etim.
It would be recalled that the recently, the PDP had requested the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar to dismiss its appeal lodged against a judgment of the Federal high court, Uyo which sacked Mr Albert Akpan from the National Assembly and declared Hon Bassey Etim as lawful replacement.
The party said the judgment of the court was not against its interest, hence, unnecessary and ought not to have been filed in the first place.