The Evangelist News edition, Wednesday, October 25, 2023. By Itoro BASSEY.
The Legislative Council of Ibiono Ibom local government area of Akwa Ibom State has impeached the council chairman, Rt. Hon. Ekopimo Polycarp Edet, over alleged misconduct
The impeachment process was carried out on Wednesday, October 25, in the council’s legislative chamber, Okoita, Ibiono Ibom, by 10 out of 13 councillors, led by Udeme Sunday, the Leader of Legislative Arm who represents Ward 9.
The council lawmakers agreed that the chairman, Hon. Ekopimo Polycarp Edet, was guilty of misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office and maladministration.
Aside the Leader, nine other councillors who attended the plenary session where Edet was impeached include the deputy leader, Kufre Eyo Effiong (Ward 3), Idoreyin Asuquo (Ward 4), Elijah Uwak (Ward 10), Idorenyin Umoren (Ward 1), Idorenyin Etok (Ward 2), Asuakak Umoh (Ward 5), Jerome Archibong (Ward 7), Gabriel Okon (Ward 11) and Emmanuel Maurice (Ward 6).
The lawmakers earlier said Hon. Edet, whose tenure will expire in December, refused to make his presentation to the leader of Ibiono Ibom legislative council after being served an impeachment notice for more than seven days as provided by law.
After a 5-page report containing 23 items of Hon. Edet offences were read to the councillors, the deputy leader of legislature, Hon. Kufre Eyo Effiong, moved a motion that the chairman be impeached and it was seconded by Hon. Elijah Uwak representing Ward 10.
The report read in part: “That you Rt. Hon. Ekopimo Polycarp Edet have deliberately refused to to make public to the legislative council the monthly income and expenditure statements of the council since January 2023 to date. Sequel to this action, you have contravened Section 28(1) (c) of the Local Government Administration Law 2017, for usurpation of powers of the Legislative Council to examine and debate the monthly statements of income and expenditure tendered to it by the Executive Chairman of the local government.
“That you Rt. Hon. Ekopimo Polycarp Edet have siphoned more than (N35, 600,000.00) thirty-five million, six hundred thousand naira from the Local Government coffers for the reconstitution of Ikpa Pavilion at the old secretariat, Ikpa, when actually the project is funded 100% by the Public Complaint Commission, a department of the Federal Government with the project signpost conspicuously hoisted at the project site as client and Digital Lifestyle Limited as contractor and not Ibiono Ibom Local Government as misrepresented by you. The action tantamount to outright embezzlement/misappropriation of funds.
“That you Rt Hon Ekopimo Polycarp Edet presented fake income and expenditure statement by presenting two different income and expenditure statements for the month of January, 2021
“That you Rt Hon Ekopimo Polycarp Edet directly and personally collected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from revenue agents with the following account details: Bank name: Ecobank, Account number 2341024964, Account name Ekopimo Polycarp Edet, from December 2020 till April 2023; instead of payment into Ibiono Ibom local council Treasury as directed by law despite much persuasion by the legislative council”.
The councillors said Edet’s conducts led to gross misconduct and contravened the oat of office in the Seventh Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended).