By George Odok
Calabar – The Speaker, Cross River House of Assembly, John Gaul-Lebo, says the social media reports that the house has resolved to impeach Gov. Ben Ayade over his recent trip abroad is fake.
Gaul-Lebo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Calabar that the house had never contemplated any move to impeach the governor, contrary to the said media reports.
“The house of assembly is not contemplating to impeach the governor; there is no plan like that.
“What I read on social media is that the governor had travelled out of the country and that it is an impeachable offence.
“Section 190 of the constitution only contemplates a situation where the governor proceeds on either annual leave or medical vacation.
“It states that where the governor is unable to perform his duties, he should transmit a letter to the house that his deputy should act.
“In this case, the governor is not on annual leave or medical vacation and he has not transmitted any letter to us.
“It is only the transmission of such a letter that can give powers to the deputy governor to act in his absence’’, he said.
According to the speaker, Ayade was on an investment trip abroad but had since returned to the country to resume duty.
“The governor has not committed any impeachable offence by travelling. The constitution does not say that anytime the governor is involved in a trip he should inform the house of assembly.
“Whatever rumour about the impeachment of the governor is false. The information is blackmail with the intent to cause tension between the executive and the legislature,’’ the speaker said.
Gaul-Lebo noted that the house has been on recess since March, but pointed out that only the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation had been holding series of meetings.
According to him, the committee has been considering issues pertaining to non-revenue-generating agencies in the state.
“The only committee that is working on over-sight for now is the committee on appropriation and finance.
“What they are doing is trying to de-list non-revenue-generating agencies that are collecting revenue for the state government,” he added.
Also, Mr Matthew Olory, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, denied any impeachment move on Ayade.
“We have never sat as a house to contemplate any impeachment move against Ayade.
“The rumour is false as far as I am concerned. The governor has not committed any impeachable offence; we don’t impeach a governor on the social media or pages of newspapers’’, he said. (NAN)