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CRSHA to investigate Ayade’s SA mismanagement of cocoa farms

By Our Reporter

The Cross River State House of Assembly (CRSHA) has raised alarm over the improper handling of state-owned cocoa farms by Mr Oscar Ofuka, former Governor Ben Ayade’s Special Adviser on Cocoa Development.

Rt. Hon. Davies Etta, member representing the Abi State Constituency, raised the matter in urgent public importance on Tuesday during the plenary session.

Etta informed the House that Ofuka and his associates had been renting out cocoa farms beyond the tenure of the previous administration, which he described as a criminal act and an attempt to undermine the current administration, led by Governor Bassey Otu.

“Being one of the main cash crops in Cross River State, cocoa is important to the state’s economy, and mismanagement of it has caused serious problems,” Etta said.

Speaking on the matter, Rt. Hon. Francis Asuquo, the leader of the 10th Assembly, expressed his disappointment with Ofuka’s actions. He restated that if Ofuka’s actions persist, a warrant might be issued.

Hon. Okon Owuna stated that Ofuka’s abnormalities have continued for a long time and should not be allowed to continue under Governor Otu’s leadership.

Owuna stressed that Ofuka needs to publicly defend the financial transactions made during his tenure and offer an explanation for his actions.

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Hon. Ovat Agbor, member representing Obubra I State Constituency stated that Ofuka’s actions were criminal. He aligned with Owuna to demand a thorough public explanation from Ofuka over the financial dealings associated with the cocoa farms.

Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the 10th Cross River State House of Assembly, emphasised in his remarks that no individual has a greater entitlement to state resources than others.

He condemned Ofuka’s monopolistic behaviour and stated that renting out cocoa farms beyond the permissible administrative period is a crime.

The Speaker stated that the House will not tolerate any actions that undermine the current administration’s corrective measures.

He added that despite multiple directives from the 9th Assembly for Ofuka to cease his activities, the former adviser has continued to ignore these orders.

The House of Assembly in its resolution, demanded that Ofuka appear before them to provide a public explanation.

The Assembly further warned that failure to comply would result in the issuance of a warrant for Ofuka’s arrest.

The Assembly also urged the State Government to take immediate action to ensure stability in the cocoa sector.

Additionally, a special committee was set up by the Assembly to conduct an in-depth investigation and report back to the Assembly.

The committee is as follows:

1. Hon. Charles Omang – Chairman
2. ⁠Hon. Bette Obi – Member
3. ⁠Hon. Neji Abang – Member
4. ⁠Hon. Brian Odey – Member
5. ⁠Hon. Thomas Aruku – Member

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