The embattled Chairman of Itu Local Government Transition Committee, Mrs. Elsie Esara, may be on her way out of office, according to a source close to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
The source told our reporter that the recommendation of the Committee of the Whole which questioned Mrs. Esara last week included a provision for the Governor to sanction Mrs. Esara over what it called “gross disrespect to the Oath of Office which she swore to uphold when sworn in as Chairman of the Transition Committee.”
The sanction, according to the source, “she would be given a suspension or an outright sack. But as a political office holder of that magnitude who claimed ignorance of the laws that she swore to abide by, it is only a sack that may be the last option.”
The source also told us that all local government councils in the state are operating illegally by “spending money without the approval of the House of Assembly.”
All Local Government Councils are supposed to send their estimates to the House of Assembly for approval. Since last year when the Chairman of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Mr. Usoro Akpanusoh, drew the attention of the Assembly to the fact that more of the Transition Committee had presented their estimates to the House of Assembly for approval and the Speaker of the House, Barrister Onofiok Luke, ordered them to do so, more of them, including Mrs. Esara this year, has presented it. The House of Assembly didn’t even need to ask them to do so. They are supposed to know because it is not the National and State Assembly that goes after the President and Governor to present budgets. It means Mrs. Esara and others are not conversant with the Local Government Laws of the state.”
The source further said the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) might wade into the matter and recover all monies spent illegally by the Local Government Council Transition Committees.
On the prospect of summoning Senator Anietie Okon whom Mrs. Esara mentioned as the one advising her ignore the first summon to the State House of Assembly, the source said the Assembly has no axe to grind with the former Senator.
Senator Anietie Okon is not Mrs. Esara. If the Distinguished Senator had advised her, it was for her to take the advice or not. She could also have consulted widely with people like her House of Assembly member and the leaders of women in the state, the First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmnuel. Maybe, she could have had a contrary advice that could have saved her from this problem.”