The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has condemned the announcement of Idongesit Ituen as the new speaker by a group of lawmakers whose seats were declared vacant on Monday, describing the action as a clear disregard for decency and the rule of law.
In a statement yesterday in Uyo, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Mr. Ime Okon, said the assembly would employ every legal means to ensure sanity returns to the chamber with the Speaker, Onofiok
Luke, as leader.
Following a court judgment, five lawmakers were on Monday asked to vacate their seats. Those affected were Idongesit Ituen (Itu), Gabriel Toby (Etim Ekpo/Ika), Victor Udofia (Ikono), Otobong Ndem (Mkpat Enin) and Nse Ntuen (Essien Udim) constituencies.
The Speaker, Luke, said the declaration of the affected seats vacant was in line with Section 109 sub-section 1(G) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
This did not go down well with the affected members who appointed one of their affected colleagues, Ntuen as the new Speaker.
In a reaction, the House said that the member representing Itu state constituency was the one that took the chamber to court, and if his bid to stop the declaration of his seat vacant did not sail through, he should have resorted to legal means, instead of taking the laws into his hands.
In the statement, the House spokesman, Okon said: “ The absolute disregard for decency and the rule of law stands condemned by members of the 6th assembly and we will employ every legal means to ensure that decorum remains the guiding principle of the state legislature under the leadership of the Speaker, Onofiok Luke.
Meanwhile, the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state has denied the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the invading hoodlums were APC youths.
In a statement, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Nkereuwem Enyongekere, said they were watching the unfolding scenarios in the House of Assembly with great concern, at the appointed time, the party would make its position known.