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Rowdy session as Cross River assembly impeaches speaker for ‘misappropriation’

Elvert Ayambem, speaker of the Cross River state house of assembly, has been impeached.

Ayambem was impeached during plenary on Wednesday over allegations bordering on financial misappropriation and incompetence.

The impeachment notice, which was seen by TheCable, was signed by 17 members of the assembly.

There are 25 members in the Cross River assembly.

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The motion for the impeachment was moved by Effiong Ekarika, lawmaker representing Calabar south 1 constituency, and seconded by Omang Charles of Bekwarra constituency.

A rowdy session ensued after Ayambem was impeached.

One of the lawmakers made a dash for the mace, which is the symbol of authority of the speaker.

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However, the legislator with the mace refused to let go, resulting in a struggle, fisticuffs and a brawl in the chamber.

THE CASE AGAINST AYAMBEM

In the impeachment notice, the lawmakers alleged that Ayambem misappropriated N48 million meant for the payment of electricity bills of the assembly complex and quarters.

The lawmakers also alleged that the impeached speaker misappropriated 2 percent of all revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) monthly to the tune of N404 million.

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“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.

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“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.”

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The lawmakers who signed the impeachment notice are Kingsley Ntui, Okon Owuna, Samuel Neji Abang, Cyril James Omini, Stanley Nsemo, Charles Omang Omang, 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.

In June 2023, Ayambem who represents Ikom 2 constituency, was elected speaker of the 10th assembly.

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