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Cross River Assembly Impeaches Speaker Over Alleged Misappropriation

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Elvert Ayambem, the Speaker of the 10th Cross River State House of Assembly, has been impeached by 17 out of the 25 members of the House on charges of gross misconduct and misappropriation of funds.

The motion for impeachment was moved by Hon. Effiom Ekarika of Calabar South 1 Constituency and seconded by Hon. Omang Charles Omang of Bekwarra State Constituency.

Ayambem, who represents the Ikom 2 State Constituency, was removed from his position in the early hours of Wednesday, approximately 11 months after his election as Speaker in June 2023.

Following the impeachment, members took away the mace, symbolizing the authority of the House.

The lawmakers cited several allegations against Ayambem, including the misappropriation of N48 million intended for the payment of electricity bills for the assembly complex and quarters, as well as the misappropriation of 2 percent of all revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) monthly, amounting to N404 million.

Additionally, they accused him of failing to disclose N19,437,844 from Local Government deductions over 11 months.

Other reasons listed in the impeachment notice included incompetence and improper conduct of plenary proceedings, arbitrary approvals of expenditure beyond permissible limits, and non-compliance with the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.

The lawmakers alleged that Ayambem’s conduct had been a concern for months, with members expressing dissatisfaction with his leadership style. By Tuesday, 17 members had signed up for his impeachment.

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