Syndicates are running mad in the Ministry of Lands & Town Planning, Akwa Ibom State, over a vast landed property recently acquired and sealed off for private use.
The landed asset at 67 Oron Road, Uyo, lying 6,162.983sqm, adjacent the Area Headquarters of the Apostolic Church, 69 Oron Road, Uyo has remained cordoned since 2019.
Until second quarter of 2019, the land which empties into Nyong Essien area, was being occupied by a giant story building and two bungalows.
Today, passersby could see that all structures had long been demolished and leveled.
It was being rumoured that the parcel had been acquired by the then Akwa Ibom Works Commissioner, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen who is now Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Reacting to this reporter who sought clarification on the matter, Mr Ephraim Inyang-Eyen denied ever acquiring such property, saying he knew nothing about it.
Inyang-Eyen regretted that such allegations are the “attitude of disgruntled elements in the system, who use public fund to acquire properties but choose to accuse innocent people, while hiding their identities.”
Independent findings however extricate Mr Ephraim Inyang-Eyen from every possible linkage to the parcel.
This reporter gathered that syndicates from the Ministry of Lands are habitual in fraudulently acquiring public properties all over the state.
Documents obtained from the Ministry shows that the land was bought in 2019 by one Dr. Usen Ita Uwa with the sum of one hundred and sixty million naira (N160,000,000) only.
Further investigations show that the name Usen Ita Uwa was not real as officials of the ministry were reportedly involved in scandalous deals.
Meanwhile, the landed property was first acquired from the aborigines in May 1975 with the sum of seven hundred naira (N700) only.
Sadly, this is how officials of government have been using their privileged access to public funds to acquire properties all over the place, while the vast majority of the populace wallow in abject poverty.
I challenge the Ministry of Lands & Town Planning led by the Commissioner, Architect (Pastor) Ime Ekpo to publicly announce the owner of the property.
In case this is not possible, I call on Governor Udom Emmanuel to immediately order investigations into the convoluted secrecy.