By Patrick Obia
Yakurr Legislative Council has passed a vote of no confidence on the Executive Chairman of the Council – Ofem Ebri Obeten over alleged misappropriation of funds, given seven days ultimatum to appear before the House or face impeachment.
A legislator in the Council who pleads anonymity told CrossRiverWatch that the decision was a unanimous move by the House after fishing out gray areas ranging from misappropriation of funds and standing order violations by the Chairman.
“Legislatures have proceedings; before now the first step was where the income and expenditures were found wanting, the legislature will now send it to the Committee on Finance and Appropriation; it is the Committee that will study the income and expenditure of the Chairman of the Council, and then whatever report that will come out will be presented before the House. So when this report was put before the House, some areas needed the Chairman’s explanation.”
The source noted that several invitations of the Chairman to clear certain things were snubbed, hence the need to pass the vote and the notice.
“So the process went on by inviting him the first time he didn’t appear, the second time he didn’t appear and he still didn’t appear the third time: following legislative proceeding, a vote of no confidence was passed accordance with the Local Government Law (as amended) 2007, in-line with our Legislative Standing Order and Rules of the House. Seven days were given to him to appear, it is at the expiration of the seven days the impeachment notice was served, to make 14 days which is three legislative proceedings. The window is still open for the Chairman to appear and explain to the legislators the areas they need to get clarification. It was a unanimous decision of the entire House.
“The impeachment will be determined by what will come out between now and the seven days expiration. His expiration date is between now and Tuesday next week.”
The source said it is not an impeachment as reported in some quarters: “It was not an impeachment but an impeachment notice that will give room for the Chairman of Council to appear before the legislature and explain certain things that are very grey.”