by crossriverwatch admin
The Deputy Leader of the Obudu Legislative Council, Hon. Martin Orim, was today impeached by an overwhelming majority of eight out of ten members of the House. Only the Leader of the Legislative Council, Hon. Ugar Andeshi abstained from voting.
Hon. Togo Fidelis of Utugwang North, while moving the motion for the impeachment of the former Deputy Leader said: “I, Hon. Togo Fidelis of Utugwang North, after due consideration and careful observation of the conduct of Hon.
Martins Ojie Orim, Deputy Leader of the Obudu Legislative Council representing Alege/Ubang Ward, hereby move for his impeachment from office in line with the provisions of Section 33 Sub-section 2(C) of the Cross River State Local Government Law No 22 of 2007 (as amended) for the following reasons:
“Gross misconduct, Ineptitude, Factionalization and misrepresentation of Obudu Legislative Council, High level of arrogance and flagrant disregard for legislative due process”.
The motion was supported by Hon. Elizabeth Udie representing Ipong Ward with the support of eight other members who signed the notice of impeachment. The members include: Hon. Togo Fidelis, Hon. Ogbiji David N., Hon. Elizabeth C. Udie, Pastor Hon. Utoda Akomaye, Hon. A.B. Abua, Hon. Amgbah Fidelis A., Hon. Akomaye Augustine and Hon. Mrs. Rose E. Abua.
Hon. Togo Fidelis, who moved the motion, was then unanimously elected as the new Deputy Leader of the House.
Part of the documents attached to the impeachment notice that was read on the floor of the House by the new Deputy Leader was a print out of an interview that the former Deputy Leader granted crossriverwatch. He was accused of misrepresenting the House in his comments.
In the attached cut out, crossriverwatch quoted the former Deputy Leader as saying “The committee has not submitted its report. But I spoke with one of the members of the committee who informed me that they met with the First Bank manager on Thursday after our sitting and the manager confirmed that the Chairman had already collected the loan. The manager also said that the Chairman later came to him to tell him there was crisis around the transaction and he has returned part of the money while he is making arrangements to pay the rest.
“That is criminal. I have also called the Clerk of the House, Mrs. Akade to provide the letter for the approval of the overdraft that was sent to us, which was read on the floor of the House on Thursday and the lady says the letter is missing. The woman is a criminal. The Chairman has paid her to sneak the letter away. I have told her she wants to end her career in Obudu if she does not provide that letter tomorrow. With all these things that are piling together, she and the Chairman will go together. We will receive the report of the committee formally tomorrow but the way the situation is going, the Chairman will not escape it”
The Councilors also accused the former Deputy Leader of ‘misappropriating’ N1m that was given to the Councilors for last Christmas.
The Councilors said each of them was supposed to get hundred thousand Naira each, but some of them were allegedly given twenty thousand and some others were given forty thousand each.
While reacting to his impeachment, the former Deputy Leader, Hon. Martin Orim told crossriverwatch that: “I never ate any body’s money. The Chairman just used that money to blackmail me to my colleagues. He only gave us nine hundred thousand Naira for the Christmas and I handed the money to the Leader. Ask the Leader! It is just blackmail. Because the Chairman is blinded by a second term ambition, he now says I am his problem and he is now accusing me of misconduct. Why did he not see all that in the past two years when I have been the one protecting him in the House?
I have the most experience amongst all of us in that House and you see when people see that they cannot match you, they begin to accuse you of arrogance. I started there as P.A. to the Leader and that was when I started observing proceeding. I have been Supervisory Councilor for Youths and Sports and S.A. Peace and Security. So I have the most experience and they are intimidated by my experience so they classify it as arrogance.”
The Leader of the House, Hon. Ugah Andeshi told crossriverwatch that he was taken aback by the development. “I did not really know what happened. I think I was even the target. I wanted to postpone the sitting to see how we can get other stakeholders to intervene and resolve this matter but the Chairman insisted that we must go ahead and I knew that they were plans to also impeach me too if I stayed away from the sitting.”
The President of Bette Development Union in Lagos, Mr. Utsu Atsu in a statement to crossriverwatch decried development and called on both the Chairman and the Councilors to bury their heads in shame.
“Who is the Saint in this matter? Is it the Chairman or the Councilors? This matter is becoming very embarassing already. I have been reading with utter amazement how these people are embezzling our lean resources and still exposing us to public disgrace in the media. The Chairman wants people to sympathize with him, he should address the fact that he has also broken the law before impeaching others. Section 5, Sub-section 4 of the Cross River State Local Government Law No. 22 of 2007 says ‘A local government shall be prohibited from any capital raising activity by way of loan, overdraft, capital market issue or any other method without the approval of the governor’.
“The governor was still in America when he had already collected the loan. Has he impeached himself for breaching that section of the LG law. I think these people are taking us for granted because we have all left home and we are oblivious of the facts. Its a good thing that we now have a forum to update us. Both of these people should go and
hide their heads in shame and stop disgracing Obudu in the media”. He said.
Chairman of the PDP in Cross River State, Ntufam John Okon in his reaction told crossriverwatch that the impeachment is a joke.
He said: “No, that is a joke. They are just playing their local politics. We have told everyone that if there is any problem or complain about any of our elected or appointed officers, the matter must be brought to our notice and we will present it before the Leader of the party who is the governor before any disciplinary action can be taken against anyone.
“If we allow everyone to go on and do what they like in this manner, the party will be in disarray. There was no impeachment anywhere. The party will take appropriate action and make sure the status quo is restored. They have tried it before in that Obudu when they claimed to have impeached the Chief Whip of that same House and we made it clear that cannot happen. So it is a joke”.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch