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Akwa Ibom Deputy Speaker impeached at midnight

Posted by By JOE EFFIONG, Uyo on 2007/12/29 | Views: 667 |

Akwa Ibom Deputy Speaker impeached at midnight


The protracted crisis in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly finally claimed its first casualty with the impeachment of the deputy speaker, Mr Uwem Udoma, by midnight of Monday. The Deputy Speaker earlier survived an attempt to removed him from office in the afternoon of the same day.

The protracted crisis in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly finally claimed its first casualty with the impeachment of the deputy speaker, Mr Uwem Udoma, by midnight of Monday. The Deputy Speaker earlier survived an attempt to removed him from office in the afternoon of the same day.

Until his impeachment, Udoma, representing Abak State Constituency, had a running battle with the Speaker, Obong Ignatius Edet, which started shortly after the inauguration of the House last June. Their enmity snowballed in a failed attempt by the deputy speaker to get his boss removed from office.

The House, on Monday afternoon, was about to impeach Udoma when he stormed the chambers and seized the mace. However, while Udoma and his group were rejoicing over the failed attempt, the speaker and his loyalists in the House, identified as the Akwa Ibom Peoples Forum (AKPF), reconvened in the night without the mace and impeached Udoma through a motion moved by the leader of the House, Chief Jerome Isangedighi.

The deputy speakerís offences, according to a follow-up press release by the press secretary to the speaker, Mr Inemesit Ina, were listed to include "abuse of office, insubordination, factionalisation of the House, mobilization against party policies and programmes, lack of teamwork and consultation, propagation and dissemination of false information against the House and breach of peace and security of the House."

Udomaís problems did not end with the impeachment. Apart from being immediately replaced by Obong Okon Uwa, representing Ukanafun State Constituency, he, alongside his friends in the House, namely, Mr Ekere Afia, deputy leader, who represents Uyo; the chairman of information committee in the House and representing Ibesikpo, Mr Ekpewo Ekpo and the chairman, House Committee on Appropriation and representative of Uruan, Obong Usenobong Akpabio, were suspended from the house pending when they would tender public apologies for insulting the Speaker.

Daily Sun learnt that apart from Udoma, the other three suspended lawmakers are from Uyo State Constituencies and had all indicated their interest to be speaker before Edet eventually won.
Attempts to get the reaction of the deputy speaker or any of his suspended colleagues were not successful.

However, a member sympathetic to them said: "The purported impeachment and suspension was null and void and with no effect as the meeting did not hold in the chambers but in the speakerís office without the symbol of authority Ė the mace. So the status quo-ante remains."

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