Building Demolition: Fast Food company Seeks Compensation from Akwa Ibom Government.
The management of a fast-food company in Akwa Ibom State, Food Affairs Limited located at No 1, Uyo/Ekpene Road, in Ikot Ekpene LGA of Akwa Ibom State has asked the state government for adequate compensation for demolishing its multi-million naira business complex without due process.
Food Affairs Ltd is one of the very few indigenous hospitality enterprises with branches in Uyo and Ikot Ekpene; but its Ikot Ekpene main branch was demolished on June 27 2019, allegedly, on the instructions of the then commissioner of Works and Fire Service, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen.
The managing director of the outfit, Mr Isidore Ebong, in a statement made available to Daily Sun on Monday titled “Ephraim Inyangeyen and his Atrocious Trespass and Malicious Destruction of Food Affairs Building” said the demolition was man’s inhumanity to man.
Part of the statement reads: “It is more than two years since the unlawful, ridiculous, ferocious and excruciating demolition of the Food Affairs business premises in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, without due process and payment of compensation, about which the staff and management of the business are still traumatised while counting their losses.
“The former Commissioner for Works in Governor Udom’s first administration (2015-2019) on June 27, 2019, maliciously demolished a business building belonging to Food Affairs Limited at No.1, Uyo – Ekpene Road, Ikot Ekpene during business hours without any prior notice and/or payment of appropriate compensation.
It was a terrible and pitiable scene as staff and customers scampered for safety, and some regrettably left their personal belongings behind as the madness continued.
” Production staff in their aprons, who never knew what happened, narrowly escaped death, almost trapped, eventually came out through the broken back fence to a neighbour’s compound as the building caved in.
” The extension of the edifice used the bar with assorted drinks and furniture was not spared. Looters had a field day as they packed anything and everything, they could lay their hands on as Ephraim gave orders to ground everything.
“To ensure the prompt destruction of first-hand evidence of the demolition, the manager of the facility who tried taking pictures of the demolition exercise was rough handled and his phone ceased on the instruction of Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen.
“Properties worth millions of naira ranging from furniture, electronics, refrigerating and air condition equipment, raw, semi-finished and finished food products, fittings, toys, generators, staff personal effects as well as cash were smashed by the two bulldozers that abruptly entered the premises on the command and supervision of Ephraim Inyangeyen.
“To attract public justification for this inhuman act, Inyangeyen publicly lied that former Governor, Godswill Obot Akpabio paid the sum of 150 million naira, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel paid 100 million naira and he paid 30 Million, as compensation for the same property which was marked for demolition to give way for construction of the Uyo – Ikot Ekpene Road, yet they refused to pack out of the property to enable the contractors handling the road project continue with their work.
The managing director debunked the defence put up by the former commissioner that adequate notice and compensation had been given, and challenged him to show any evidence or proof of payment of compensation for the building.
“Those who did not understand passed judgment because Mr Ephraim as a former commissioner had publicly and categorically stated how a total amount of Two Hundred and Eighty Million (N280,000,000.00) was paid while they refused to pack out.
“We, therefore, call on the federal and state governments to do thorough investigations on this matter and pay adequate compensation for the loss (Building, Materials, and Business time)
But in his reaction, Inyangeyen who had since left the Akwa Ibom State government to pursue his senatorial ambition in the upcoming general election said the people were sponsored to stand up against him because he is contesting an election.
“It is cheap blackmail by the Udom government.
“Was the land taken by Ephraim Inyangeyen for his personal use or AKWA Ibom state government for road construction and what has it got to do with Ephraim Inyang-Eyen?
“This incident was in 2019 but resurfaced in May 2022 as political blackmail of the Udom government. You should know better.
“You have all the information you need. The governor should encourage them to go to court and see the consequences of his folly.” Inyangeyen said.
Source- The Sun