*ordered to bring council secretary’s car to assembly for inspection
The Chairman of Nsit Atai Local Government Area, Ms Emem Ibanga, who, for some years has been a regular visitor to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to answer queries bordering on alleged financial impropriety and short-changing of council staff and councillors, has made a return to the assembly to answer a query for allegedly refusing to procure a vehicle for the Secretary of Council, Mr Sunday Udia, from funds released for the purpose by the state government.
The assembly, acting on a petition from the council secretary, referred the matter to the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, headed by Mr Mfon Idung of Etim Ekpo/Ika State Consistency.
Appearing before the committee during a closed-door session on Thursday, the council chairman and the council secretary presented their briefs.
During the interaction, it was revealed that she had procured and released official vehicles to the Vice Chairman of the Council and Leader of the Council but declined to procure a vehicle for the council secretary on the solitary ground that he is an ally of another political bigwig (name withheld) from the area.
The committee ordered her to procure a brand-new vehicle and bring it to the assembly premises on 13th October 2023, for inspection to ascertain its quality before it is presented to the secretary.
By insisting that the vehicle be brought for inspection, assembly sources said the committee probably got wind of the information that rickety vehicles were repainted and handed over to the vice-chairman and leader of the council.
The committee had actually demanded that the council secretary’s vehicle be procured with immediate effect but the council chairman pleaded to be given a few weeks, and the committee granted her request by fixing 13 October 2023, as a date for presentation.
When contacted by our correspondent, Ibanga said she was unaware of the matter. “I am not aware of it, please, thank you,” she answered succinctly.