C’River Assembly to Investigate Oscar Ofuka’s Mismanagement of Cocoa Farms

The Cross River State House of Assembly has raised alarm over the improper handling of state-owned cocoa farms by Mr. Oscar Ofuka, former Governor Ayade’s Special Adviser on Cocoa Development. Rt. Hon. Davies Etta, member representing the Abi State Constituency, raised the matter in urgent public importance on Tuesday during the plenary session.

Rt. Hon. Davies Etta informed the House that Mr Ofuka and his associates had been renting out cocoa farms beyond the tenure of the previous administration, which he described as a criminal act and an attempt to undermine the current administration, led by Governor Bassey Otu. “Being one of the main cash crops in Cross River State, cocoa is important to the state’s economy, and mismanagement of it has caused serious problems.”

Speaking on the matter, Rt. Hon. Francis Asuquo, the leader of the 10th Assembly, expressed his disappointment with Ofuka’s actions. He restated that if Ofuka’s actions persist, a warrant might be issued.

Hon. Okon Owuna posited that, during his tenure as Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Department of Produce and Cocoa was excised from the Ministry and placed under the Governor’s Office, with Mr. Oscar Ofuka appointed as the Special Adviser on Cocoa Regeneration and Control. He noted that this anomaly has not been addressed. Hon. Owuna further stated that he is aware of ongoing litigation between the State Government and Mr. Oscar Ofuka. He advised the Cross River State House of Assembly to refer this matter to the House Committee on Judiciary for proper study and to invite Mr. Oscar Ofuka to provide a public explanation before a final decision is reached by House.

Hon. Ovat Agbor, member representing Obubra 1 Constituency stated that Ofuka’s actions were abnormal. He aligned with Hon Owuna to demand a thorough public explanation from Ofuka over the financial dealings associated with the cocoa farms.

Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, emphasized in his remarks that no individual has a greater entitlement to state resources than others. He condemned Ofuka’s monopolistic behaviour and stated that renting out cocoa farms beyond the permissible administrative period is a crime. The Speaker stated that the House will not tolerate any actions that undermine the current administration’s corrective measures.

He added that despite multiple directives from the 9th Assembly for Ofuka to cease his activities, the former adviser has continued to ignore these orders. The House of Assembly in its resolution, demanded that Ofuka appear before them to provide a public explanation. The Assembly further warned that failure to comply would result in the issuance of a warrant for Ofuka’s arrest.

The Assembly also urged the State Government to take immediate action to ensure stability in the cocoa sector. Additionally, a special committee was set up by the Assembly to conduct an in-depth investigation and report back to the Assembly. The committee is as follows:

1. Hon. Charles Omang – Chairman
2. ⁠Hon. Bette Obi – Member
3. ⁠Hon. Neji Abang – Member
4. ⁠Hon. Brian Odey – Member
5. ⁠Hon. Thomas Aruku – Member

Matthew Okache
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker


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