By Emmanuel Ayungbe
Uyo—THE leadership of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is planning a stiff sanction for the care taker committee Chairman of a local government area in the state, (name withheld) over alleged abuse of office and embezzlement of over N50 million Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, belonging to the council.
Three councilors, including the supervisors for Works, Special Duties and Health, had petitioned the Assembly, claiming the care taker chairman embezzled IGR of the council and other constitutional breaches contrary to the Local Government Administration Laws.
When confronted, according to the petitioners, the embattled chairman was said to have claimed the money was spent to settle private bills of the wife of a top government official, and other stakeholders in the area.
Besides, the chairman listed other beneficiaries of the cash to include party chieftains and leaders in the area, lawmakers and other government officials.
On the strength of the petition, the House Committee in-charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, it was gathered, summoned the chairman on two occasions, but failed to appear, until summoned before the committee of the whole House.
At the Plenary, the chairman who had earlier taken the Assembly to Court, seeking injunction to stop the summon of the House Committee, apologized to the lawmakers and promised to withdraw the case.
The embattled chairman also apologized to top government official’s wife for dragging her name into the controversy, and seeking for assistance over the matter.
But the Assembly led by the Speaker, Hon. Onofiok Luke, frowned at what it described as an insult on the House by the chairman, saying the chairman’s actions breached the oath of office and violated the Nigerian Constitution as well as the relevant sections of the Local Government Administration Law.
Also, at the Plenary Tuesday, the Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs chaired by Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere (Obot Akara), was forced to recommend to Governor Emmanuel appropriate sanctions “to serve as deterrent to others”.
The chairman is expected to honour the Committee’s invitation to answer to all the allegations as contained in the petition later this week.