A landlord in Akwa Ibom, Mr Isidore Ebong has called on the State Government to urgently pay him compensation for demolishing property worth about N100 million.
The building located at No.1 Uyo Road, Ikot Ekpene town was said to have been demolished by the state government on June 27 following construction of the Ikot Ekpene road.
Godwin Oyong Esq, solicitors to Mr Ebong, alleged in a statement that a mass force comprising, civil servants of the Ministry of Works, Uyo, Soldiers and Mobile Policemen were led by a former Commissioner for Works, Mr Ephraim Inyang Eyen to demolish the structure.
“The demolition started at 11:30 a.m., of June 27; bulldozers came 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,” the statement quoted Oyong as saying.
According to Mr Oyong Esq, his client has been making effort to get his compensation when he heard that government had commenced payment, but the payment consultant Mr Ubong Williams, has been avoiding him.
“Before leaving the Head office of their business in Uyo on June 26, the CEO called the payment consultant and he advised him to proceed to their branch facility at Ikot Ekpene, but discovered after getting there that the payment team and their Leader were not on ground.
“At 5 p.m., when the last call was made, Mr Ubong Williams told him they will not come because of the heavy rains and they now postponed the payment to June 27,” Oyong said.
He 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 added.
He said a petition had been sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, 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.
In his reaction, the payment consultant Mr Ubong Williams in a text message to NAN said: Mr Isidore Ebong doesn’t want to pick up his cheque. He was sufficiently informed days before the payment.
“Even the payment was done in his premises for everyone affected by the road construction but I don’t know his issue with the State Government. His cheque is there and he can pick it up anytime he is ready.
“I wasn’t there when the structure was demolished and wouldn’t know of his claims. The value given him was done by a certified Estate Surveyor and Valuer appointed as the valuation consultant.”