The Chief Executive Officer of Food Affairs (Nig.) Limited, Mr. Isidore Ebong, has demanded compensation from Akwa Ibom State Government for demolishing his property.
According to Ebong, the demolished property was a shopping complex, situated at No.1, Uyo Road, Ikot Ekpene, in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the state, adding that it demolished by the state government on June 27, 2019 following an ongoing construction work on Ikot Ekpene Road.
His lawyer, Godwin Oyong, who is Head of Practice, G. U. Oyong & Co., a law firm, 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, carried out the demolition.
Oyong said, “At 11:30am on June 27, 2019, the perpetrators ordered bulldozers to smash two large silent generators, fence wall before proceeding to bring down the main purpose built eatery on two floors and other bungalows that made up the complex.
“Preliminary inquiries have shown that N100 million worth of property and equipment were destroyed beyond recognition thereby causing the owners trauma, great pains, fear for the future and loss of jobs to employment seekers.
“The most disturbing is the minimal valuation of N47. 317 million only on the physical development which was not paid”, the lawyer stated.
According to him, his client had made efforts to get his compensation when he heard that the state government had commenced payment of compensation on their part of the road from Ikot Ekpene but the payment consultant had been avoiding him.
He further disclosed that it was in the process of trying to sort out the compensation that Mr. Eyen led fully armed soldiers and Mobile Policemen “to unleash terror and wantonness on the entire establishment.
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 over the matter.
He therefore, appealed to the authorities to prevail on the state government to ensure full payment of the compensation to his client.
But reacting to the claim that the state government was not showing concern of paying compensation to the property owner as noted by his lawyer, payment consultant to the government, Mr. Ubong Williams, said the claim by the complainant is not as he is presenting the matter, and that he is accessible and ready to present the cheque for compensation to the complainant, Mr Isidore Ebong.
According to Williams, “To the best of my knowledge, there is no delay. As I speak to you right now, I am in the office, tell him to come and collect his cheque if he so claimed that I have been avoiding him”.