Cross River’s House of Assembly speaker Elvert Ekom Ayambem has been impeached

He was impeached on Wednesday, May 22, by 17 members out of the 25-member over allegations of misappropriation of funds.

Majority of the lawmakers passed a no-confidence vote on him, after about 11 months in office.

Ayambem, who represents Ikom 2 State Constituency in the Assembly.

He was elected speaker of the 10th Cross River State House of Assembly in June 2023.

The impeachment motion was moved by Hon. Effiom Ekarika representing Calabar South 1 Constituency and seconded by Hon. Omang Charles Omang representing Bekwarra State Constituency. And Ayambem represents Ikom 2 State Constituency in the Houses of Assembly.

His impeachment resulted to a fight when one of the lawmakers ran to take the mace, which is the symbol of authority of the speaker, but the legislator with the mace refused to let go, leading to a struggle and a brawl in the chamber.

Immediately following the impeachment,

Some lawmakers alleged that the impeached speaker misappropriated N48 million to pay electricity bills for the assembly complex and quarters.

They also alleged that Ayambem misappropriated 2 percent of all revenue collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) monthly to the tune of N404 million.

“Misappropriation of the sum of N19,437, 844.00 (Nineteen Million, Four Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and forty-five Naira) from Local Government deduction and 11 months deductions which he allegedly failed to disclose to members,” the impeachment notice reads.

Incompetence and wrong conduct of plenary proceedings: Un-parliamentary way of conducting proceedings.

Appointment of members to move or second motions rather than allowing interested members to raise their hands. Non-compliance with the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.

Arbitrary approval of expenditure in flagrant breach of the provisions of Section 9(1) of the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.

Approvals beyond the limit which the Speaker can approve contrary to Section 9(10) of the Cross River State Legislature Funds Management Law 2021.”

Among the lawmakers who signed the impeachment notice were Kingsley Ntui, Okon Owuna, Samuel Neji Abang, Cyril James Omini, Stanley Nsemo, and Charles Omang Omang. Others included Thomas Aruku, Eyo Bassey, Bassey Bassey Effiong, Francis Onete Ogban, Victor Nsa, Ovat Agbor, Pius Ashas Ashakia, Martins Achadu, Effiong Ekarika, Egbe Abeng Egbe, and Hilary Bisong.

Watch the fight below.