The Cross River State House Assembly found itself at the center of a controversy regarding the appointment of the Clerk, raising concerns about procedures and constitutional prerogatives. Elder (Ntufam) John Okon, a prominent figure, has weighed in on the matter, shedding light on the legislative processes involved.
According to Elder Okon, who also served as a clerk of the house until he retired says the Legislature is an integral arm of the government, with the Speaker serving as its head. He emphasized that the Governor cannot appoint the Clerk without consulting the Speaker, given that the Clerk operates under the Speaker’s purview. Elder Okon further explained that the House holds the constitutional right to amend laws, including those related to the Assembly Commission.
Addressing sentiments that may tarnish the Speaker’s name, Elder Okon stressed that all Clerks appointed in the House undergo a recommendation process involving consultation with House Leaders and Honorable members. He expressed confidence that any procedural errors could be rectified through established rules and procedures.
Touching on the issue of Patrick Edi and Barrister Catherine Ubi, Elder Okon clarified their respective positions. Barrister Catherine Ubi, the most Senior Director in the House of Assembly, holds a higher rank during appointment and within the Directorate. Elder Okon highlighted her training in legislative duties and legal drafting, asserting her competence for the role.
Elder (Ntufam) John Okon concluded by urging against dragging the Speaker and the House of Assembly into what he referred to as “petty politics.” He asserted that the House and the Governor maintain a cordial and cooperative relationship.
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