Court grants FG leave to serve charges on Ekweremadu, Akpan through NASS Clerk
THE Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday granted the Federal Government leave to serve criminal charges on Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Senator Bassey Akpan through the clerk of the National Assembly.
The orders of the court followed the complaint of the Federal Government that the two Senators have been evading the service of the criminal charges on them.
Counsel to the Federal Government, Selsus Ukpong, in two separate exparte motions argued yesterday prayed Justice Binta Nyako to permit the service of the two-count criminal charge against Ekweremadu through substituted service, the Clerk of the National Assembly.
He claimed that the Deputy Senate President had allegedly thwarted all efforts to serve him with the charge to formally kick-start his trial on refusal to declare his asset before the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the recovery of public property.
It will be recalled that the two-count charge against Ekweremadu was filed last month but had not been served on him.
After listening to the argument of the counsel to the Federal Government on the alleged evasion of service of the charge, Justice Nyako granted FG’s request and ordered that the charge be served on Ekweremadu through the Clerk of the National Assembly.
In the second exparte motion, argued before Justice John Tsoho, also of the Federal High Court, Abuja, Ukpong had complained bitterly that Senator Bassey Akpan, also charged with failure to declare asset allegedly refused to be served.
The counsel prayed Justice Tsoho for an order, permitting the two-count criminal charge to be served on Akpan, who represents Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
Ukpong also prayed the court for an order permitting the Federal Government to temporarily take over two buildings traced to Senator Akpan pending the investigation of allegation of false asset declaration against him.
However, Justice Tsoho in his ruling on the exparte motion, permitted Federal Government to serve the criminal charge on Akpan via the Clerk of the National Assembly.
The Judge, however, refused to grant an order for temporary forfeiture to the Federal Government the two houses in Abuja traced to Senator Akpan
While Justice Nyako adjourned the matter of Ekwremadu to October 22, 2018, for mention, Justice Tsoho adjourned that of Senator Akpan to November 19, also for mention.