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AKHA orders reinstatement of “impeached” LG council Vice Chairman

AKHA orders reinstatement of “impeached” LG council Vice Chairman

…says impeachment was complete illegality, mess on democratic tenets

The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has ordered the immediate reinstatement of Hon. Abasiama Etukakpan as Vice Chairman of Oruk Anam Local Government Council.

Recall that the Oruk Anam Legislative House had on March 23, 2021, in a petition signed by fourteen Councillors, impeached Hon. Etukakpan, citing false declaration of age as reason.

However, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly at its Plenary on Thursday, July 15, 2021, received two separate petitions on the matter.

The petitions were read by the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petitions, Hon. Victor Ekwere, while the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, referred the matter to the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs headed by Rt. Hon. Mark Esset.

The Speaker urged the Committee to investigate the petition and report back within one month.

Presenting the Committee’s report at Tuesday’s plenary, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset pointed out that Hon. Abasiama Etukakpan was in the first instance, not served any official notice of impeachment.

He revealed that the reasons tendered by the Councillors to the Committee for impeaching
the Vice Chairman were purely pre-election matters and lie within the electoral process and the courts.

He also told the House that Councilors did not follow proper impeachment procedures as regulated in Section 44 of the Local Government Administration Law (2017) in the impeachment process of Hon. Abasiama Etukakpan.

“The Legislative Council usurped the powers of the House of Assembly by taking the law into their hands. The Chairman Hon. Kingsley Frank on his own authority picked and inaugurated a new Vice Chairman for Oruk Anam Legislative Council in which he has no authority to do so”, he said.

The House therefore ordered the immediate reinstatement of Hon. Abasiama EtukAkpan as Vice Chairman of Oruk Anam Local Government Council

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The House resolved that Hon. Etukakpan be paid all his entitlements from date of the purported impeachment.

The House also declared as invalid and unconstitutional, the purported swearing in of another Vice Chairman.

Also at Plenary, the House received a Motion on the ‘Deplorable Condition of Ikot Akpan Abia-Enen Nsit Road with Deep Gully at Mbiakot’ sponsored by Hon. Ifiok Udoh (Nsit Ibom), while the Akwa Ibom State Waterfront Infrastructural Development Bill, 2021 scaled through Second Reading.

The House also ratified the Report of the House Committee on Public Accounts on Covid-19 Budget Execution of Akwa Ibom State Government from the State Auditor General for the Quarter Ended 31st March 2021.

In the meantime, the House has adjourned its plenary to Thursday, August 5, 2021.

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