By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has re-instated the chairman of Abak Local Government Area, Imoh Williams, who had been on suspension following an assault on an artisan.
Godwin Abraham, who makes a living decorating event venue, was flogged in April at the secretariat of the Abak local government area by two men who accused him of insulting the local government chairman, Mr Williams, on Facebook, over some unresolved indebtedness.
The assault was captured on camera which went viral on the internet, prompting the House of Assembly to suspend the council chairman.
One of the assailants, Uduak Aniekan, otherwise known as Uduak Alele, was identified as an aide to Mr Williams.
The other was Nyakno Ukpanah, an official of Ukanafun Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.
The suspended chairman, Mr Williams, alongside the victim, Mr Abraham, and his assailant, Mr Alele, appeared last month before the committee on local government and chieftaincy affairs in the state assembly.
The committee chairman, Mark Esset (PDP/Nsit Atai), presented their report during plenary on Tuesday, absolving Mr Williams of complicity in the assault case.
The speaker of the assembly, Aniekan Bassey, presided over the plenary.
“Hon. Imoh Williams did not authorize Mr Uduakobong Samekpo to beat up Mr. Godwin Abraham, but rather showed disapproval by sacking Mr Samekpo as his Aide,” a statement from the media unit of the assembly quoted the report as saying.
“The suspended Abak Local Government Council Chairman had since tendered an apology to the victim and the entire state on the unfortunate incident.”
The assembly adopted the report and recommendations of the committee and accordingly resolved that Mr Williams be reinstated.
The assembly, however, advised him to ensure he screens and trains his aides against overzealousness and impunity.
The committee did not recommend any sanction against the man who assaulted the artisan.