CRSHA: 4 Grounds, 9 Particulars Via which Elvert Ayambem was Removed as Speaker

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In a significant political development, the Speaker of the 10th Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, has been removed from office following a vote of no confidence. The removal, initiated by a motion from members of the House, cites four primary grounds and nine particulars encompassing gross financial misconduct, incompetence, noncompliance with legislative management laws, and failure to convene leadership meetings NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

The decision to remove Ayambem was driven by serious allegations detailed in the removal notice presented by several assembly members. The first ground, gross financial misconduct, includes accusations of misappropriation of substantial funds. Specific instances cited include the alleged misappropriation of ₦48 million intended for paying PHEDC bills for the House of Assembly complex and quarters. Additionally, Ayambem is accused of diverting 2% of revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) amounting to over ₦404 million, designated for oversight functions of the Assembly. Another charge points to the misappropriation of ₦19.4 million from Local Government deductions, which Ayambem allegedly failed to disclose to the members.

The second ground addresses incompetence and improper conduct during plenary proceedings. Particulars here mention un-parliamentary conduct of proceedings and the practice of appointing members to move or second motions, bypassing interested members.

Ground three deals with noncompliance with the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law of 2021. It highlights the arbitrary approval of expenditures in breach of Section 9(1) of the law, and approvals exceeding the limits set by Section 9(10), the limit being ten million naira. The removal notice also accuses Ayambem of failing to inaugurate the Legislative Funds Management Committee, a requirement under Section 3(1) of the same law.

The fourth and final ground cites Ayambem’s total failure to convene leadership meetings, noting that only one leadership meeting was held in eleven months since the inception of the tenth House of Assembly.

The removal notice was signed by key members of the House including Hon. Kingsley Ntui (Etung), Hon. Okon Owuna (Akamkpa 1), Hon. Samuel Neji Abang (Ikom 1), Hon. Stanley Nsemo (Calabar Municipality), Hon. Effiong Ekarika (Calabar South 1), Hon. Charles Omang Omang (Bekwarra) and Hon. Cyril James Omini (Yakurr 1) and ten others others. Attached to the notice were documents such as IRS remittance records and photographs of a large house under construction by Ayambem, allegedly financed through the misappropriated funds.