Cross River embattled speaker insists he is still in charge, faults removal process

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The embattle speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Elvert Ayabem, has stated that he remains the Assembly’s speaker, despite being impeached by 17 members who had already signed a notice of his impeachment.

The motion for his removal was moved on the floor of the House by the member representing Calabar South 1, Effiong Ekarika, and seconded by Charles Omang.

However, he described the process as unlawful in a statement released on Wednesday by his chief press secretary, Matthew Okache.

Okache said Akarika, the person who proposed Ayambem’s impeachment, had disturbed the meeting by “inviting hoodlums to enter the chamber.”

The statement read, “The Cross River State House of Assembly has been alerted to false news reports that the Speaker, Elvert Ayambem, has been impeached.

“To be clear, the speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly is, without a doubt, Elvert Ayambem. He is in the current position. What happened earlier today (Wednesday) during the plenary, when Effiong Akarika, a member representing Calabar South 1, disrupted the session by inviting hoodlums to enter the chamber, is a ridiculous charade with no constitutional basis.

“The House of Assembly is not aware of any impeachment notices being served to anyone before the frivolous act as witnessed at the chambers. The alleged impeachment and replacement are speculative, and the general public is urged to disregard fake news and dismiss any notion of a crisis. The status quo is that Elvert Ayambem is the Speaker of the House of Assembly.”

The embattled, however, said he is unfazed by the impeachment and determined to elevate the assembly and Governor Bassey Otu’s administration.

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