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More reasons emerge on why Ayambem was removed as Speaker of CRSHA

More reasons have emerged following the removal of Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem as the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, on Wednesday, 22nd May 2024.

CONVERSEER reports that Ayambem, currently representing Ikom II State Constituency was removed as Speaker of the House on four grounds; gross financial misconduct, incompetence and wrong conduct of plenary proceedings, noncompliance with the Cross River State Legislature Fund Management Law 2021 and total failure to convene leadership meetings.

Apart from the above, it was alleged by some of the members of the House that Ayambem was running the House as a one-man show.

“During plenary, he [Ayambem] will be the one to choose who to move and second a motion – other members will raise their hands but he will ignore and rather choose someone of his choice.

“He was running the House as a one-man show. He was withdrawing all the money coming into the House of Assembly account without alerting the members.

“Imagine that I want to remove my office, instead of giving me money, he would rather send someone to come and renovate my office for me. Where is that done in any part of the world?

“As a Speaker, if you give him a motion, he will tear it in front of his aides.

“The Assembly quarters have been left moribund and the members are living there at the mercy of God. Light comes on only 2 hours a day, there is no water and each member has to drill their own water – even though these things have been provided for.

“Even in the office, power is given to us only when daddy [Ayambem] is around. That is how bad things are right now in the House,” of the House of Assembly who spoke under anonymity said.

Another member who also spoke under anonymity said nobody was behind the removal of the Speaker and that it was the decision of the House and the House alone.

“We are not against the State Government, we are 100% in support of the government. We are very proud of His Excellency, Senator Prince Bassey Otu. What we have done is not influenced by any external factor.

“We have the right according to the constitution also remove him [Ayambem]; we are all equal – we can elect you and as well remove you,” the anonymous member said.

Adding, “We have already seen the story being skewed towards the fact that it is because he [Ayambem] started the recovery of government assets. He is not even the one who moved the motion for the recovery of government assets, it was Hon. Cyril Omini (Yakurr I). So, you can see that it wasn’t him, it was us, the House Committee that moved the motion, we are the ones who went to recover the assets even though he took the glory as a Speaker.”

The members also said, “There is nowhere that they’ve removed someone, e.g., Senate President, and return him/her back, it’s not possible.”

They said “We are consulting with the executives to elect a new speaker, that is why we have not done anything. Even with that, the decision will not be influenced by the Governor. In fact, we don’t even need the Governor, we are just consulting for the interest of the state.”

The Lawmakers said the next Speaker will still come from the Central Senatorial District as it is being zoned to the District since the Governor and Deputy are from the Southern and Northern Senatorial Districts respectively.

CONVERSEER earlier reported that 17 out of the 25-member Assembly signed the removal of Ayambem in a motion moved by Hon. Effiong Ekarika of Calabar South I and seconded by Hon. Charles Omang of Bekwarra.

READ ALSO: Tension as Cross River House of Assembly removes Speaker

The 17 members who signed the removal notice are Hon. Kingsley Ntui – Etung, Hon. Okon Owuna – Akamkpa I, Hon. Samuel Neji Abang – Ikom I, Hon. Cyril James Omini – Yakurr I, Hon. Stanley Nsemo – Calabar Municipality, Hon. Charles Omang Omang – Bekwarra, Hon. Thomas Aruku – Ogoja, Hon. Eyo Bassey – Bakassi, Hon. Bassey Bassey Effiong – Akpabuyo, Hon. Francis Onete Ogban – Biase, and Hon. Victor Nsa – Calabar South II.

Others are Hon. Ovat Agbor – Obubra I, Hon. Pius Ashakia – Obanliku, Hon. Martins Achadu – Yala II, Hon. Effiong Ekarika – Calabar South I, Hon. Egbe Abeng Egbe – Obubra II, and Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong – Boki II.

The members cited “Misappropriation of the sum of N48,000,000.00 (Forty-Eight Million Naira) meant to pay NEPA bills for the House of Assembly complex and the House of Assembly Quarters; misappropriation of 2% of all revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) monthly for oversight functions of the House of Assembly in line with Section 18(a)(i) of the Cross River State Revenue Administration Law 2011 as amended to the tune of N404,683,855.10 (Four Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Eighty-Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Five Naira, Ten Kobo); misappropriation of the sum of N19,487,844.00 (Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty-Four Naira) from Local Government deduction and 11 months deductions which the Rt. Hon. Speaker has willfully failed to disclose to members; gigantic house under construction by Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly located at Summit Hills Calabar within 11 months of office (proceeds of crime) from the above-mentioned embezzled funds; amongst others as the reasons why Ayambem was removed as the Speaker.

They said the removal in line with Order 24 of the Rules of the Cross River State House of Assembly and pursuant to Section 92(2)(C) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as altered.”

Meanwhile, Mr Mathew Okache, Chief Press Secretary to former Speaker Ayambem in a press release on Wednesday said the former remains the Speaker of the 10th Assembly.

“Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem remains the Speaker of the 10th Assembly. What happened earlier today (Wednesday) during the plenary is a ridiculous charade with no constitutional basis.

“The alleged impeachment and replacement are speculative, and the status quo is that Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem is the Speaker of the House of Assembly,” the statement read in part.

VIDEO OF THE REMOVAL

Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom
Frank Ulom is an experienced Journalist, Blogger and Writer with several years of experience. His stories are based on community development and have brought positive change across board.

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