By Ralph Chris-Izokpu
The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Food Affairs NFA, Company Limited, Mr. Isidore Ebong has called on the Akwa Ibom State Government to urgently paid him, his compensation for demolishing his building.
The shopping complex, situate at No.1 Uyo Road, Ikot Ekpene town, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the state was said to have been demolished by the state government on the 27th June, 2019 as part of effort to construct the Ikot Ekpene road.
The Head of Practice, G. U. Oyong & Co., Godwin U. Oyong Esq who is the solicitors to Mr. Ebong, alleged that a mass force comprising, civil servants of the Ministry of Works Headquarters Uyo, Soldiers and Mobile Policemen led by a former Commissioner for Works, one Ephraim Inyang Eyen, “at about 11:30AM of 27th June, 2019, ordered bulldozers to smash two large silent generators, fence wall and proceeded to bring down to rubble the main purpose built Eatery on two floors and other bungalows that make up the complex.”
According to Mr. Oyong Esq, his client had made efforts to get his compensation when he heard that government had commenced payment of compensation on their part of the road from Ikot Ekpene but the payment consultant had been avoiding him (Ebong).
“Before leaving the Head office of their business in Uyo on the 26/06/2019, the CEO called the payment consultant and he advised him to proceed to their branch facility at Ikot Ekpene and he did, but discovered after getting there the payment team and their Leader were not there, and at 5:00PM when the last call was made, Elder Ubongabasi Williams told him they will not come because of the heavy rains and they now postpone the payment to the 27th June, 2019”, the lawyer claimed.
The lawyer said it was in the process of trying to sort the compensation aspect out that Mr. Eyen led fully armed soldiers and Mobile Policemen “to unleash terror and wantonness on the entire establishment.
“Preliminary inquiries has shown that N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) worth of properties and equipment were crushed into dust and several jobs lost and the owners are in great pain, trauma and fear for the future.
“The most disturbing is the minimal valuation of N47,317,000.00 (Forty Seven Million, Three Hundred and Seventeen Thousand Naira) only on the physical development was not paid”, the lawyer lamented.
He said a petition had been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Inspector General of Police and the human rights community in Nigeria and abroad.
He appealed to the authorities to prevail over the state government and secure the full compensation of his client.
While reacting to the claim that he was avoiding the complainant, the payment consultant, Mr Ubong Williams denied that he was not accessible to present a cheque of compensation to Mr Isidore Ebong.
He said; “To the best of my knowledge, there’s no delay. As I speak to you right now I am in the office, tell him to come and take his cheque if he so claim that I have been avoiding him.”