EFCC Drags Senator Bassey Albert to court for collecting bribe worth N254m
The Senator representing Akwa-Ibom north-east is in hot soup as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday filed charges at a Lagos high court against him for allegedly receiving 12 cars as bribes worth N254 million.
The 45-year-old senator, allegedly received the vehicles between 2010 and 2014 from Olajide Omokore, a businessman, when he (Bassey) served as the Akwa-Ibom commissioner for finance.
The senator is to face a seven-count charge bordering on corruption as a public officer and for inviting bribes.
On his part, Omokore is also facing a seven-count charge bordering on offering gratification to a public officer and giving bribe on account of the action of a public officer.
Omokore is chairman of Atlantic Energy Brass Development Limited and Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited.
According to NAN, both men were absent in court on Monday when the case was announced for mention.
Zainab Ettu, prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, requested a new court date to enable the anti-graft commission arraign the senator and the businessman.
“We do not have the defendants in court today, though we had earlier anticipated that we would have them in court at a later date,” she said.
“We will be asking for a further date, most preferably, after vacation.”
Responding, the vacation judge, Obafemi Adamson, said the case had not been assigned to a judge, making it difficult to adjourn.
The judge ordered that the case file should be sent to the registry of the high court for assignment to a judge who will hear it.
According to the charge sheet, Bassey received the vehicles from Omokore over a five-year period in Lagos.
Bassey allegedly received the bribes while serving as the Akwa-Ibom commissioner for finance and chairman of the Akwa-Ibom State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee (IMDLCC).
On May 10, 2010, Bassey also allegedly received a BMW X5 BP worth N50 million from Omokore, and in December 2012, another Infinity QX 56 BP worth N45 million from him.
On November 2013, the serving senator was said to have received a Toyota Landcruiser V8 BP valued at N40 million and in March 2014, a Range Rover also valued at N40 million from the businessman as well as in September 2014, another Toyota Hiace High Roof car valued at N27 million.
Others are Toyota Hiace High Roof car valued at N16 million and six units of Toyota Hilux vehicles valued at N36 million.
The anti-graft commission claimed that the car gifts were given to Bassey by Omokore in exchange for contracts from the Akwa-Ibom government.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravene sections 63 (1)(a), 64 (1)(a) and 98(1), (a), (i) of the criminal law of Lagos 2011.