By Endurance Onun:
Members of the Cross River State Youth Parliament, sitting, on Friday last week suspended its Speaker, Hon. Awatt Caleb over alleged abuse of office and misrepresentation.
Awatt’s suspension came when the Deputy Chief Whip, Hon. Ahupa Simon representing Bekwarra I Constituency moved a motion calling on the House to set the Speaker aside.
Presenting the motion, Hon. Ahupa intimated that there are series of allegations levied against Hon Awatt. He also noted that whereas several committees have, in time past, been constituted to probe the Speaker, however, none has returned with any tangible result since the Speaker was still superintending the House. “As such, for democracy to take its course, for those committees to handle the allegations levied against the Hon. Speaker as a legislator, for best sanity and sense of balance of the general house the speaker has to step aside and surrender himself for investigation,” Hon. Ahupa said, before his motion was seconded by Hon. Etim Tangban of Etung ll Constituency.
However, the Minority Leader, Hon. Austin Patron representing Akpabuyo ll Constituency moved a counter motion seconded by Hon. Bassey Okon of Bakasi lll Constituency. This created a balance for deliberations which, nonetheless, could not yield a consensus as the parliamentarians resolved for a simple majority vote to determine the fate of Hon. Ahupa’s motion.
Of 22 members in sitting, 10 voted against the Speaker’s suspension while 12 voted in favour of the motion afterwhich, Clerk of the House pronounced the Speaker suspended as he ordered the now suspended speaker to step aside for the Deputy Speaker, Hon. George Ajangson to assume the seat in acting capacity.
Hon. Ajangson consequently constituted an adhoc committee of Ethics and Privileges to commence probe of the suspended speaker before which, the House was adjourned.