(Codewit News Agency ) Barely 24 hours after being suspended and given seven days ultimatum to resign or risk impeachment, Speaker of the Awka Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ignatius Edet, and his deputy, Obong Okon Uwah, were yesterday removed from their positions. Hon. Jack Udota was elected as the Speaker pro-tempore.
Addressing journalists in Uyo, Chairman, House Committee on Information, Obong Asuquo Darby Udo, said 21 out of the 26 members of the Assembly signed the resolution to impeach the two principal officers.
Udo said more than two-thirds majority of the members had Tuesday, May 18th, 2010, signed the resolution.
He said to ensure that there was no vacuum in the House, the Assembly members decided that â€œthe Speaker pro-tempore is by this resolution empowered to reconvene the House for the purpose of electing the substantive Speaker and Deputy Speaker at the earliest convenient dateâ€.
In reference to Edet, he said: â€œHe is such an autocratic, non-transparent, non-accountable and selfish leader; a compulsive liar and an expert in distortion of facts and information who takes delight in divide and rule and other discriminatory system of administration.â€
He listed the sins of the impeached officers to include total disregard and disrespect for the rules and standing orders of the House and the Constitution of Nigeria.
He said the impeached officers had committed offences ranging from â€œrefusal to account for funds standing to the credit of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly since the inception of the House;
â€œInability to convene the House of Assembly; a situation which has made the House not to sit for the constitutional 181 days in a legislative session; usurpation of powers and suppression of intellectual discourse and debates in the chambers;
â€œHigh handedness; uncontrolled arrogance; greed and insensitivity to the plight of members; lack of transparency and disregard for due process in the administration of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly where he forcefully and illegally convened the House even when there is no quorum; and
â€œEngaging in incessant postponement and adjournments of the House to take care of his private business thereby allowing the business of legislation in the House to suffer.â€
He said the decision to remove Edet and Uwah was taken in the best interest of the legislature, government and the entire people of the state.
Adjourning sitting of the House to May 25th, members said the tenure of Edet â€œcan best be described as traumatic, only likened to a horrific nightmareâ€.
Darby had at the end of an executive meeting of the House Tuesday announced Edet and Uwahâ€™s suspension from the House and issued a seven-day ultimatum to resign or be impeached.
He had described the actions of the impeached officers for the past three years as gross abuse of office, adding that members of the House were disappointed by their leadership techniques.
â€œThe entire House is seriously disappointed with the leadership of the House with particular reference to the Speaker and his Deputy,â€ he had said.