A’IBOM ASSEMBLY DEBUNKS INK NEWSPAPER CLAIM OF N35M THANKSGIVING FUNDS
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has debunked the allegation of N35m fund released by state government to each lawmaker for the just concluded thanksgiving programme hosted on Sunday, 20th June 2021 throughout the 26 state constituencies simultaneously.
The House deliberated on the matter published on the Ink Newspaper during its plenary as they commenced its third legislative year, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
According to the matter of urgent public importance raised by member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, it frowned at the report with the headline ‘A’Ibom Gov. spends N35m on each AKHA Member for Thanksgiving.’ The Member termed it as ”false, baseless, without facts.”
The Nsit Atai Lawmaker decried the indirect act by the publisher of the Ink Newspaper to incite their constituents against the House with an unverified report.
The Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Udo kierian, expressed dissatisfaction over the report and said he has never witnessed the state government funding a thanksgiving outing.
The Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Bassey said the House needs to get to the root of the report to seek proof of such an allegation.
The Ibesikpo representative, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko while contributing to the matter described the report as ‘campaign of calumny against the Lawmakers,’; ‘a vilification of the House’ and ‘smearing of the reputation of the Assembly’ which has been termed very peaceful and unified since its inception.
Adding their views, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh of Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo; Rt. Hon. David Lawrence of Eket; Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh of Esit Eket/Ibeno, unanimously expressed displeasure over such allegation and said the publication can incite violence against them in a period such as the society finds itself where insecurity takes order of the day.
They called on House leadership to institute serious legal action against Ink Newspaper to serve as a warning if a retraction is not published within 24hours.
Presiding over the plenary, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey urged the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public Petition, Hon. (Barr) Victor Ekwere of Mkpat Enin to commence the process of instituting a legal action against the Newspaper and write to the state Commissioner of Police.
Meanwhile, later at plenary, two reports of Public Account Committee chaired by Hon. Charity Ido were considered and subsequently ratified after due legislative process.
The reports are; ‘Report of the Committee on Public Account of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly on the report of the Auditor General on Covid-19 Budget Execution report of Akwa Ibom State Government for the House on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
Another is, ‘The report of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Public accounts on the arrears of two (2) years audit reports of the Auditor General for Local Governments on the accounts of the 31 LG Councils of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria for the years ended, 31st Dec, 2015 and 31st Dec 2016 submitted to the House for adoption Tuesday, June 22.’
Earlier, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly solicited for media support as it commences the third legislative year.
The House made the call through its Chairman, Committee on information, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Denis during a media parley.
He acknowledged the media collaboration enjoyed by the House in the last two years and hoped for better support in future. He used the occasion to also present ‘Assembly Update,’ a magazine publication by his Committee which captures the activities of the House in the last 2 years.
However, the House adjourned its plenary to reconvene on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 by 10:00 am prompt.
© Enwono-Abasi Elisha.