The Young Progressives Party (YPP) governorship campaign council in Akwa Ibom State has responded to the corruption indictment of its candidate, Bassey Albert.

On Thursday, Mr. Albert was found guilty and given a 42-year prison term on six counts of corruption and money laundering by a Federal High Court in Uyo.

The sentence is to run concurrently.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission brought charges against Mr. Albert, a senator for Akwa Ibom North-East District, alleging that he accepted a bribe of 12 cars valued at N254 million from oil marketer Olajide Omokore while acting as Akwa Ibom State’s commissioner for finance between 2010 and 2014.

The court’s grounds were heavily guarded while Justice Agatha Okeke delivered the ruling.

For his incarceration, Mr. Albert has been transported to the Ikot Ekpene Correctional Center in Akwa Ibom.

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Emem Akpabio, the leader of the YPP’s governorship campaign in Akwa Ibom, responded to the court decision by calling it a “judicial absurdity” and a “travesty of justice.”

Mr. Akpabio said they would appeal the verdict in a statement that was made public hours after Mr. Albert was taken to jail.

He said the YPP campaign rejects the conviction and imprisonment of Mr Albert, saying “his innocence was glaringly obvious from day one that the EFCC instituted the case.”

“The dust it (the judgment) has stirred against the judiciary would only be redeemable by a reversal,” Mr Akpabio added.

According to him, the development was a brief setback intended to shake up their faith and push the YPP to the pinnacle of freedom.

“The mission to redeem Akwa Ibom State from the decadent administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel remains unstoppable.

“In this regard, we make bold to declare publicly that Mr Albert remains the arrowhead of this movement, and we collectively and individually stand by him and remain irrevocably committed to this genuine cause.

“Akwa Ibom State must be free and freed from underdevelopment, want and lack being inflicted on the people,” Mr Akpabio said.

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