Cross River: Why assembly speaker was impeached – Lawmakers

Up to 17 Members of the Cross River State House of Assembly, who on Wednesday impeached the Speaker, Hon. Elvert Anyambem, have said he was removed as a result of “misconduct, financial misappropriation, administrative high handedness, incompetence among others”

Recall that the impeachment, which took place during plenary, followed a motion of urgent public interest moved by member representing Calabar South 1 State Constituency, Hon Effiong Ekarika and seconded by member representing Bekwarra State Constituency, Hon Charles Omang.

17 of the 25 members backed Rt Hon Anyambem’s removal.

According to an impeachment letter signed by of the House and read by Hon Omang, the Speaker’s removal was in line with Order 24 of the Rules of the Cross River State House of Assembly and pursuant to Section 92(2XC) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as altered.

“Having met the Constitutional requirement of two-third majority, we the underlisted members of the Cross River State House of Assembly hereby pass a vote- of-no- confidence on Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the House of Assembly and he is hereby removed,” he stated.

According to them, the Speaker allegedly misappropriated the sum of N48,000,000.00 (Forty-Eight Million Naira) meant to pay electricity bills for the House of Assembly complex and quarters.

The members of the Assembly also accused the Speaker of perpetual refusal to inaugurate the Legislative Funds Management Committee as required by Section (1) of the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.

They further alleged that the Speaker could convene leadership meetings only once in 11 months since the inception of the House.

However, in his reaction, Ayambem insisted that he remained Speaker of the Assembly and accused Hon Ekarika, who moved the motion for impeachment, of disrupting Assembly proceedings with thugs.

A release signed by Matthew Okache, Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker said, “the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly is without a doubt Rt. Hon Elvert Ayambem, and that is the current position.

“What happened earlier today (Wednesday) during the plenary, when Hon. Effiong Akarika, a member representing Calabar South 1, disrupted the session by inviting hoodlums to enter the chamber, a ridiculous charade with no constitutional basis.

“The House of Assembly is not aware of any impeachment notices 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 Rt Hon Elvert Ayambem is the Speaker of the House of Assembly.”