Another Show of Shame in A’Ibom Assembly!
- Itu Lawmaker barred from speaking during plenary
It was a drama mixed with embarrassment for the lawmaker representing Itu State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Mr Idongesit Ituen, when he was embarrassed and barred from speaking on the floor of the AKHA during Tuesday, April 12, 2016’s plenary session.
The journey to the embarrassment of Mr Ituen was like a Nollywood movie, scripted and stage-managed on the floor of the AKHA. It started more like a joke to everyone at the plenary (both those at the gallery including the press), when during the plenary session, the member representing Ibesikpo Asutan state constituency and Chairman, House Committee on Rules, Business and Ethnic, Mr Aniekan Uko, shouted “Mr Speaker, Point of Order!” at the top of his voice.
The Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke, eventually recognised him to raise his “point of order, Mr Uko observed that his colleague, the member representing Itu state constituency “dressed indecently” to the plenary in total breached of Rule 4 Sub 8 of the House Standing Rules.
Mr Uko did not end there, he went further to say that in pursuant to the stated House Order, Ituen should not have been allowed access to plenary. He prayed the Speaker not to grant the “defaulting” and “indecently-dressed” lawmaker any recognition to either contribute to the day’s proceedings or comment on any issue throughout the Tuesday’s plenary, so that it would serve as a lesson to him and others alike, in case of next time.
Surprisingly, the Speaker granted the prayers of the Ibesikpo Asutan lawmaker and ordered that the “indecently dressed” Itu lawmaker should not speak and/or contribute to the Tuesday’s proceedings, because he was “indecently dressed” as was sighted by the chairman, Rules, Business and Ethics.
The Speaker used the opportunity to also lecture Mr Idongesit Ituen and other lawmakers fond of dressing “indecently” to the plenary session of the AKHA, urging them to desist forthwith.
Mr Ituen’s constituents who reacted to the development, while speaking to RADAR newspaper, on anonymity, shortly after the Tuesday’s AKHA plenary, at the assembly’s premises, expressed shock on the “indecent dress” of their lawmaker, saying that it was a state embarrassment for him (Ituen) to be sighted and disciplined by the Speaker among his colleagues on account of “indecent dressing.”
They wondered what Mr Ituen would be telling his wife and children on dressing code when he was used as an escape-goat on the floor of the AKHA plenary.
They called on the embarrassed-lawmaker to quickly apologise to the people of Itu, because, according to them, the people of Itu are known to be well-cultured and well-dressed to public function(s).
It is on record that since creation of AKHA, no lawmaker had ever been sighted and disciplined on the plenary on account of indecent dressing. The Itu lawmaker has, however, broken the unbroken record in the state and entered into the annals of history as the first state lawmaker to be publicly embarrassed during the proceeding of the plenary session of the sixth House of Assembly due to his love for “indecent dressing”.
Earlier, the publicly disgraced Itu-lawmaker had before the drama, been recognised by the Speaker to move a motion for a Bill to establish Hotels and Tourism Licencing Law, sponsored by the member representing Mbo state constituency, Mr Samuel Ofuo. The Bill had its second Reading and Mr Ituen having been recognised, stood up to contribute to the Bill before Mr Aniekan Uko drew attention of the Speaker to his indecent dressing, thus halting his contribution to the Bill and other business of the day.
The indecently dressed Itu Lawmaker, who dressed in a sky-blue long sleeves shirt upon a black tie and black trouser, had the sleeves of the shirt folded to his elbow as if he was going into a boxing ring.
Our reporters observed that throughout the sitting, Mr Ituen was shamefully opening the House Standing Order and reading from page to page, apparently, searching for any section of the House Rules that permits indecent dressing.
RADAR newspaper learnt reliably that what happened to Mr Idongesit Ituen could have been a nemesis of his past deeds. The lawmaker, we gathered, had during Thursday, April 7, 2016, plenary session, surreptitiously planted some policemen at the entrance to the gallery of the Hallow Chambers with instructions not to allow anyone “indecently dressed” access to the gallery.
When RADAR newspaper eventually got the Speaker, Mr. Onofiok Luke, on his mobile telephone line to comment on the matter, he said that there is nothing like “indecent dressing” in the Standing Order of the AKHA.
He explained that the Itu lawmaker had dressed properly with shirt and tie to the Chambers, but did not use suit, as clearly defined in the Order of the House. The Order, according to Mr Luke, says a member may either dressed in traditional attire or French suit and tie.
By Ememobong OKON