The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, suspended with immediate effect, the Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, Hon. Aniekpon Ekpo, over alleged gross misconduct and misappropriation of funds.
The House also directed the Vice Chairman of the Council, Hon. Mercy Bassey, to take over from the suspended chairman in acting capacity, pending the conclusion of investigation into the matter.
This followed a report of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs led by the Chairman, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset.
Among the offences allegedly committed by the chairman, according to the committee’s report was hauling out the council’s grader since 15 April, 2021 and has not returned same till date.
He said, “The Chairman contracted a consultancy service to handle the Internally Generated Revenue of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, with no information on how the funds received were managed, as monies were not paid into the revenue account of the council.
“The Chairman failed to heed the advice of the Head of Service, Director of Finance, Director of Works of the Local Government, on the need to follow the Local Government Law and the Financial Regulations in the running of the administration of the council.
“The Vice Chairman, other exco members and councilors are not carried along in the administrative functions of the council. During the committee meetings, weightier allegations/petitions bordering on outright abuse of office and gross misconduct by the chairman would normally be submitted to the committee on a daily basis.
“The grader purportedly returned to the council by the chairman is different from the grader belonging to Mkpat Enin Local Government Council.”
After considering the report at the Committee of the Whole, the House ordered the chairman to return the council grader with immediate effect.
“Due to the obvious interference and plethora of fresh and weighty petitions against the Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council bordering on fraud, the House ordered the immediate suspension of the Chairman, pending the outcome of investigations of the Ad-hoc Committee set up by the Speaker.
In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren to communicate the resolution of the House to the Executive Governor.