The permutations in the Akwa Ibom governorship contest were being reset on Thursday after the Young Progressives Party, YPP candidate, Senator Bassey Albert was sentenced to 42 years in prison for corruption.
. reports that Senator Albert is a former Akwa Ibom State commissioner for finance.
Senator Albert was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC at a Federal High Court in Uyo.
He was immediately taken to Ikot Ekpene prisons, Akwa Ibom State, to serve his prison term.
Senator Albert who is popularly known as OBA in Akwa Ibom political circles is a major contender for the governorship having pulled out of the PDP following issues that arose from the endorsement of Pastor Umo Eno by the outgoing governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel.
Besides Umo Eno and Senator Albert, the other major candidate was Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP.
The All Progressives Congress, APC which has been splintered after the exit of Senator Akpanudoedehe is bogged down by legal problems over the conduct of its primaries and is not presenting a candidate.
With the APC and the YPP, two of the four major challengers out of the Akwa Ibom governorship contest, the field is left for only the NNPP and the PDP.
Stakeholders believe that should the YPP and the APC unify behind the NNPP that the PDP could face the most serious challenge to its 22 year hold on Akwa Ibom State in the forthcoming election.
Senator Albert presently representing Akwa Ibom North East District, was found guilty of receiving bribes of 12 cars worth N254 million from an oil marketer, Olajidee Omokore, during his (Albert’s) tenure (2010 – 2014) as commissioner for finance in Akwa Ibom State. He served in the administration of Governor Godswill Akpabio.
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