HomeNEWSWhy Cross Rivers Speaker, Elvert Ayambem Was Impeached After 11 Months In...

Why Cross Rivers Speaker, Elvert Ayambem Was Impeached After 11 Months In Charge

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Afor Kenneth

The Cross River State House of Assembly has impeached Rt. Hon. Elvert Ekom Ayambem from his position as the Speaker.

The impeachment occurred on Wednesday when 17 out of the 25 members of the House voted to remove Ayambem from office, citing allegations of financial misappropriation.

The majority of the lawmakers expressed their lack of confidence in Ayambem, who had been the Speaker for approximately 11 months since his election in June 2023. The impeachment motion was initiated by Hon. Effiom Ekarika, representing Calabar South 1 Constituency, and seconded by Hon. Omang Charles Omang, representing Bekwarra State Constituency.

Ayambem, who represents Ikom 2 State Constituency in the House of Assembly, faced accusations from his colleagues.

According to reports, the impeachment notice alleged that Ayambem misappropriated N48 million intended for the payment of electricity bills for the assembly complex and quarters. Additionally, it was claimed that he misused N404 million, which constituted 2 percent of the monthly revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The impeachment process was marked by a chaotic scene within the chamber. Eyewitnesses reported that one of the lawmakers attempted to seize the mace, a symbolic representation of the Speaker’s authority. However, another legislator who held the mace refused to relinquish it, leading to a physical altercation and brawl among the members.

“Misappropriation of the sum of N19,437, 844.00 (Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and forty-five Naira) from Local Government deduction and 11 months deductions which he allegedly failed to disclose to members,” the impeachment notice reads.

“Incompetence and wrong conduct of plenary proceedings: Un-parliamentary way of conducting proceedings.

“Appointment of members to move or second motions rather than allowing interested members to raise their hands. Non-compliance with the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.

“Arbitrary approval of expenditure in flagrant breach of the provisions of Section 9(1) of the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.

“Approvals beyond the limit which the Speaker can approve contrary to Section 9(10) of the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.”

Among the lawmakers that signed the impeachment notice were Kingsley Ntui, Okon Owuna, Samuel Neji Abang, Cyril James Omini, Stanley Nsemo, Charles Omang Omang.

Others included Thomas Aruku, Eyo Bassey, Bassey Bassey Effiong, Francis Onete Ogban, Victor Nsa, Ovat Agbor, Pius Ashas Ashakia, Martins Achadu, Effiong Ekarika, Egbe Abeng Egbe, and Hilary Bisong.

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