By Archibong Jeremiah
The leadership of the Cross River State House of Assembly has denied that the Assembly declared the seat of Hon. Elucate Okora Ekom vacant following his defection from PDP to APC.
The refutal was made via a press release signed by Azogor Ideba, Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. John Gaul Lebo and made available to our newsroom.
The release reads: “The attention of the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly Hon. John Gaul Lebo has been drawn to reports on social media published by CrossRiverWatch edition of Saturday 8th July, 2017, and other news media purporting that the member representing Obubra II State constituency in the House of Assembly Hon. Elucate Okora Ekom’s seat has been declared vacant.
“I wish to state that this report is not only false, unfounded or misleading but also written in bad taste to, like other failed attempts, smear the admirable image of the Speaker and that of the Cross River State House of Assembly as a whole.
“It is necessary to state here that there was no such meeting held by members of the Assembly at the Governor’s office yesterday 7th July,2017 neither was there any such suspension of Hon. Elucate Okora Ekom or the declaration of his vacant as claimed by the media report.
“This report is only a figment of the imagination of the writer (s).
It is very important to also state here that the House of Assembly till today has been on recess for over a month and has not sat or had any executive sessions or any other formal meeting within the period.
“Clearly, Hon. Elucate whose purported defection was read in the media is yet to formally notify the House of Assembly through the Clerk of his defection or intention to defect to any other political party, hence still a member of the People’s Democratic Party until such notification is received by the House of Assembly.
“Furthermore, Hon. Elucate Okora’s purported defection is not a matter, enough, to make the House of Assembly perspire but that of the party as he still remains and will still remain a bona fide member of the Cross River State 8th Assembly until June, 2019.
“The Honourable Speaker therefore wishes to inform well- meaning citizens of the State that there was no such meeting at the Governor’s office yesterday 7th July, 2017, neither was there any such suspension of Hon. Elucate Okora Ekom or his seat declared vacant as falsely reported”.
CrossRiverWatch had earlier reported that the House declared the seat of the member vacant following his defection to APC.