Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Tuesday suspended the Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, Hon. Aniekpon Ekpo, over alleged gross misconduct and misappropriation of funds.
The House, therefore, directed the Vice Chairman of the Council, Hon. Mercy Bassey, to take over from the suspended Chairman to act, pending the conclusion of investigation into the matter.
This followed a report of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs read at Plenary on Tuesday.
Presenting the Committee’s report, the Chairman, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, revealed that the embattled Chairman hauled out the Council’s grader since April 15, 2021 and has not returned same till date.
Esset said the Chairman contracted a consultancy service to handle the Internally Generated Revenue of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, with no information on how the funds received were managed, as monies were not paid into the revenue account of the council.
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The Lawmaker said the Chairman failed to heed the advice of the Head of Service, Director of Finance, Director of Works of the Local Government, on the need to follow the Local Government Law and the Financial Regulations in the running of the administration of the council.
According to him, “the Vice Chairman, other Executive members and Councilors are not carried along in the administrative functions of the council. During the committee sittings weightier allegations/petitions bordering on outright abuse of office and gross misconduct by the Chairman would normally be submitted to the Committee on daily basis.”
“The grader purportedly returned to the council by the Chairman is different from the grader belonging to Mkpat Enin Local Government Council.”
After considering the Report at the Committee of the Whole, the House ordered the Chairman to return the Council grader with immediate effect.
Due to the obvious interference and a plethora of fresh and weighty petitions against the Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council bordering on fraud, the House ordered the immediate suspension of the Chairman, pending the outcome of investigations of the Ad-hoc Committee set up by the Speaker.
The Speaker of the house, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, therefore, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren to communicate the resolution of the House to the state Governor.