AKHA Condemns Libelous Newspaper Publication, Says Integrity, Security Of Lawmakers At Stake
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly at Tuesday’s Plenary, frowned at what it described as an libelous publication by the Ink Newspapers against the 26 members of the House.
The Ink Newspaper, an Akwa Ibom State based tabloid in its June 22nd edition, alleged that members of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly received N35Million each, from the State Governor for the just concluded Thanksgiving Services which held across the 26 state constituencies.
However the House, following a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by the Member representing Nsit Atai State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Mark Esset at today’s Plenary, described the publication as false and misleading.
A Motion for the House to formally receive the Matter was moved by the Member representing Ibeno/Esit Eket, Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh seconded by the his Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara counterpart, Rt. Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere.
Lawmakers who spoke in favour of the Motion, including Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo Asutan), Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpeyong (Ini), Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan (Oruk Anam), Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudoh (Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo), Rt. Hon. David Lawrence (Eket), Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanuso (Ibeno/Esit Eket) and Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Denis (Etinan), described the publication as damaging, malicious and libelous.
They denied receiving the alleged sum, directly or indirectly from the state Governor for the just concluded Thanksgiving Services, adding the publication was an attempt to incite constituents against their representatives.
The lawmakers insisted that the report was an infringement on the legislature and therefore called for appropriate sanctions to be meted on the Newspaper, to serve as a deterrent to others.
Responding, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, referred the Matter to the House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petitions, urging it to liaise with the Assembly’s Legal Department for appropriate legal actions.
“I’m going to refer this matter to the
Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Public Petitions. You have to take into consideration the most important aspect of this matter is threat to life of all the House Members. You have to liaise with the Head, Legal Department of the House of Assembly, take a very serious legal action, and also report to the Commissioner of Police” he said.
AKHA Condemns Libelous Newspaper Publication