The battle to save the job of the embattled Chairman of the Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Bassey Akpan, took a new turn yesterday as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus chairman in the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio declared he was ready to testify in court in favour of Akpan.
A similar reprieve may also be coming the way of the suspended former Majority Leader, Sen Ali Ndume as his cronies in the senate initiate fresh move to recall the Borno State senator.
A member of the pro-Ndume group who would not want his name in print said the concerned lawmakers may move a motion any moment now to appeal to the senate to rescind the suspension.
Ndume was last week slammed six months suspension by the Senate following the report of its committee on Ethics and privileges.
According to him, the group was already talking with the leadership of the senate. Senate President Bukola Saraki had earlier said that he himself alone cannot lift the six months suspension slammed on Ndume but the pro-Ndume senators who were reported to have met on Mondaynight with his political associates from Borno State are asking the Senate President to reconsider his stand on Ndume
Meanwhile, the Minority Leader of the Senate has insisted that the former was indeed the party’s flag bearer in the last election for Akwa-Ibom North-East senatorial district.
Senator Akpabio, who made this known yesterday while fielding questions from newsmen immediately after Tuesday’s plenary, expressed his willingness to testify in court should the need arise.
Recall that the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo in February this year, in a pre-election dispute between Hon Bassey Etim and Sen Bassey Albert, nullified the election of the latter as Senator representing Akwa-Ibom North East.
The court faulted the party’s primary election that produced Albert as flag bearer of the PDP and subsequent election that made him senator.
Akpan, who filed a suit for the court to stay the execution of its February 27 judgment, which was in favour of Bassey Etim, also of the PDP, had his application struck out by the Federal High Court sitting in Uyo, last week Friday.
But speaking in Sen Akpan’s favour, Akpabio said: “What is happening is over the candidate of the party, prior to and during the election, who is Senator Bassey Akpan, for Uyo Senatorial district.
“Surprisingly, I read on the pages of newspaper that one of my citizens went to court to say that he was the candidate, and not Senator Akpan, the man in the Senate currently”.
“I don’t want to make a comment since the matter is in court, but I do know that I campaigned in the state with Sen Bassey Akpan, and he remains the authentic candidate of the party to my knowledge, before, during and after the election, and he won massively and was voted by the people of Uyo senatorial district. So, what is happening in court is baffling to me.
Akpabio continued: “The only thing that can move us forward politically, and ensure that we have a stable and developed democracy, is for us to do justice to one another.