Embattled Cross River Speaker denounces impeachment, labels action as ridiculous, charade

THE embattled Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Elvert Ayambem, has denounced his impeachment by aggrieved members of the Assembly.

He described the action as null and void.

Ayambem in a statement by his chief press secretary, Matthew Okache,, on Wednesday, May 22, alleged that Effiong Akarika, who moved the motion for his impeachment, disrupted the session by “inviting hoodlums to enter the chamber.

The ICIR reported how Ayambem was removed from office by two-thirds of the Assembly members.

This occurred during plenary on Wednesday, May 22, when the aggrieved members passed a vote of no-confidence on the Speaker, alleging several infractions, including gross financial misconduct and non-compliance with the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Laws of 2021.

In the removal notice seen by The ICIR, Anyambem was accused of misappropriating N48 million originally intended for payment of electricity bills for the House of Assembly Complex and Quarters.

He was also accused of embezzling over N19 million from local government deductions and N404 million generated by the state Inland Revenue Service (IRS) for oversight functions by the House.




     

     

    However, reacting to the accusations, the embattled Speaker said he remained the Assembly’s Speaker.

    The statement read in part, “The Cross River State House of Assembly has been alerted to false news reports that the Speaker, Elvert Ayambem, has been impeached.

    “To be clear, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly is, without a doubt, Elvert Ayambem. He is in the current position. What happened earlier today (Wednesday) during the plenary, when Effiong Akarika, a member representing Calabar South 1, disrupted the session by inviting hoodlums to enter the chamber, is a ridiculous charade with no constitutional basis.

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    “The House of Assembly is not aware of any impeachment notice being served to anyone before the frivolous act as witnessed at the chambers. The alleged impeachment and replacement are speculative, and the general public is urged to disregard fake news and dismiss any notion of a crisis. The status quo is that Elvert Ayambem is the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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