By Ekemini Simon
The Abak Legislative Council has alleged that the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has been involved in bribery scandal.
The Abak Legislative Council made the allegation recently when all 11 Councillors from the Council issued a signed impeachment notice to Abak Council Chairman, Barr. Imoh Williams.
Among the grounds mentioned for the planned impeachment is that the Council Chairman had engaged in gross misconduct by paying N10 Million as bribe to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to facilitate his reinstatement.
It could be recalled that on July 25, 2019, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly had suspended the Abak Council Chairman, Barr Imoh Williams over gross misconduct and abuse of office.
The suspension came less than 12 hours after Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, directed the Assembly to investigate allegation of human rights violation against an indigene of the area by the Council helmsman, which went viral on the social media.
But on September 17, 2019, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly reinstated Barr Williams.
The reinstatement came after a recommendation for reinstatement was presented to the House of Assembly by the Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs headed by Rt. Hon. Mark Esset.
The Abak Local Government Councilors have come out to say that the Chairman openly admittedly to giving the Greek gift to the members of the Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly before he became reinstated.
Their statement noted “Purported payment of Ten Million Naira (₦10,000,000.00) as gratification to the House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to facilitate your reinstatement.
“And you constantly refer to this ugly episode as the reason for your poor performance. Thus, this contravenes Section 98 (1) (a) Criminal Code.”
When contacted by TheMail Newspaper, the Chairman of the House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Rt Hon Mark Esset described the allegation as an insult on his Committee and the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
He said “To say you gave a House of Assembly Committee N10 Million, is that not an insult on the Committee? The Councilors should be asked to substantiate who the money was given to. What is said is fictitious. I don’t even understand it and it has not happened in the Committee I chair.”
Esset insisted that the reinstatement of Barr Imoh Williams as Chairman Abak Local Government Council was legitimate as contained in the report the Committee submitted to Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
Contacted, the Local Government Chairman of Abak, Barr Imoh Williams refused comment.