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Senators begin move to save Ndume, Akpan

Senators begin move to save Ndume, Akpan
The battle to save the job of the embattled Chairman of the Sen­ate Committee on Gas, Sen Bassey Akpan, took a new turn yesterday as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus chairman in the Sen­ate, Sen 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 Monday night 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. - The Authority

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