Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has sacked Deputy House Leader and the Deputy Chief Whip, Mr. Aniekan Bassey and Mr. Nse Essien from Uruan and Onna, respectively.
The leadership change was sequel to a letter signed by 17 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House and addressed to Speaker Onofiok Luke, demanding a change in the two offices.
It was gathered that the sacked officers were in the forefront of a move to impeach Luke. This reportedly forced their colleagues to ask the speaker to remove them.
Consequently, the new deputy leader of the House is now Ime Okon, representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency, while David Lawrence of Eket State Constituency has taken over as the deputy chief whip.
Okon, who maintains his position as chairman of the House Committee on Information, said “what happened is covered by the House Standing Orders, 2011, as adopted for use by the Sixth Assembly.”
He said members of the PDP in the House took advantage of House Order 1, Rule 6, sub 5, to effect the change, and added that Order 10, rule 2 states that the chairman of a committee shall be appointed by the speaker.
The leadership reshuffling was effected after the House had passed a bill for an Act to make provisions for the Administration of Criminal Justice and other related matters in the courts of the state.