Sack of Members: Akwa Ibom House of Assembly Goofs- Investigation

Akwa Ibom House Of Assembly
Akwa Ibom House Of Assembly

Members of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly may court the anger of the Federal High Court, Uyo for dabbling into a subsisting court order restraining the assembly from declaring the seats of some defected members vacant, Straightnews has found out.

During the re-scheduled plenary of the house on Monday, Mr. Onofiok Luke, the speaker of the house, who presided over the house, had banged the gavel three times and pronounced the seats of four members of the Assembly vacant.

The affected lawmakers are: Nse Ntuen, who represented Essien Udim State Constituency; Otobong Ndem, Mkpat Enin State Constituency; Victor Udofia, Ikono State Constituency; Gabriel Toby, Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency.

But, Mr. Idongesit Ituen, a member who represented Itu State Constituency, was sacked by a Federal High Court last week.

Kufre Okon, a spokesperson to the speaker, in a statement said the lawmakers who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), were sacked according to Section 109, sub-section 1g, of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

However, an anonymous source hinted Straightnews that two of the sacked legislators had already challenged any attempt by the house to sack them in the Federal High Court, Abuja.

According to the source, Nse Ntuen of Essien Udim State Constituency and Gabriel Toby of Etim Ekpo/Ika State Constituency- had to withdraw the matter from Abuja to Uyo for adjudication since the members of the bar and bench in Abuja were on annual vacation.

The source stated “They instituted the court process in Abuja during the Annual vacation period of the Federal Courts. When the courts resumed from the vacation, Ntuen and Toby applied to transfer the case to Uyo for proximity.”

“The speaker is a lawyer. He should have known that to speak or act on any matter pending in the court is subjudice. By taking decision on the matter- sacking two lawmakers whose matter is pending in court- he has erred from the point of law. In short, it is against justice and equity,” he said.

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However, effort to talk to the speaker was unsuccessful as he did not pick the telephone calls of the reporter as at the time of going to the press.