Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly yesterday summoned Itu Transition Chairman Elsie Esara to appear before it today (Wednesday) for failing to respect two invitations by the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs over a petition of alleged misappropriation of Council Funds leveled against.
Alleged N50m Embezzlement: Itu Chairman fails to honour AKHA invitations
The Transition Chairman of Itu Local Government Area, Mrs Elsie Esara on Friday failed for the second time to honour the invitation of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government over alleged embezzlement of over 50 million naira, said to be funds accrued from the internally generated revenue of the area.
The Assembly Committee on Local Government had invited Esara to appear before it on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 and Friday, May 5,2017 to answer allegations of embezzlement of the said funds levelled against her in a petition to the State House of Assembly by some members of Itu transition committee, including the Supervisor for Health, Mr Emem Uboh and two others.
The petitioners accused the Chairman of Itu of embezzling over 50 million naira internally generated revenue from Etaha, Itam market, Obot Itu fishing/timber beach and Itu bridge head market, among other internally generated revenue sources of the LGA , the money which she allegedly used to amass wealth for herself including landed properties and expensive car.
It is reported that one Etaha Itam market day generates over 30 million naira, while AKTC, Obot Itu fishing/timber, Itu bridge head market generates not less than 15 million naira weekly.
The petitioners alleged that Mrs. Esara admitted sharing the internally generated revenue of the LGA with some acclaimed Stakeholders in Itu and further said part of the funds goes to the wife of the State Governor, Deaconess Martha Udom Emmanuel whom she allegedly claimed facilitated her appointment as the transition chairman of Itu.
Having shunned the first invitation by the House committee on LG on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, the Committee though not happy over Mrs. Esara’ action thought it wise to give her a second chance and invited her again to appear before the Committee on Friday, May 5, 2017 which she again ignored the lawmakers invitation.
It is reported that Mrs Esara, had gone to court to challenge the propriety of the invitation of the State House of Assembly and to get court’s injunction to stop the Assembly from investigating her on the matter.
Five members of the transition committee are said to have honoured the invitation including, Supervisor for Works, Mr. Ubong Edem, Supervisor for Special Duties, Mr. Kufre Emah, Supervisor for Health, Mr.Emem Uboh, the Council Secretary, Mr. Etido Ibid and Supervisor for Women Affairs, Mrs. Anthonia Udoette.
The Council Secretary, Mr. Etido Ibid and the Supervisor for Women Affairs Mrs. Udoette have been reportedly joined other three supervisors in the petition.
Meanwhile, a close ally to the Transition Chairman who pleaded not to be mentioned hinted that the the council boss boasted that she cannot appear before the State House of Assembly because, according to her she is highly connected to who is who in Akwa Ibom politics.
Some Itu indigenes who bared their minds on the matter,including Mrs. Etoroabasi Fear God said, “If the House of Assembly does not sanction Itu LGA chairman for her action, it would have set a bad precedent which mean that any public office holder can misbehave and get away with it, believing that the State House of Assembly can only bark but cannot bite. Justice must be done to save our beloved LGA from embezzlers. Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and the EFCC should not sweep the matter under the carpet”.