Akwa Ibom community alleges fraud in compensation disbursement, petitions govt
The Ibiaku Issiet Community in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has written to the state government over alleged fraud in the Dakkada Luxury Estate compensation payment.
The state government acquired the area around Airport Road, Uyo from the community for the construction of the said estate with substantial amount out of the N420million already disbursed as compensation.
But in a petition addressed to the state government through the Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent on Sunday, the community demanded stoppage of further disbursement, alleging that the list was manipulated by a few people.
The petitioners called on the state government to review the list before further payment can commence, adding that it is unthinkable for one person’s name to appear more than 132 times on a list of about 5,625 people.
The petition was signed by Chief Effiong Udo, Mr Inyang Injang and Mrs Iniobong Oton for Nung Iko-Udo Family.
Mr Emmanuel Okon, Mr Usen Okon and Miss Arit Okon signed for the Abak family while Mr Effiong Idiong and Mr Eno Idiong signed for Ikot Obio Etit family.
They all signed on behalf of the incorporated trustees of Ibiaku Ikot Akpa-Ekong Community Association.
“Even a cursory look at the list will reveal the perverse claims of Chief William Etim whose name appeared 106 times; Bassey Etim 132 times and Placid Etim 48 times.“The most astonishing part of it is that these identified individuals and their Ekpuk (family) do not have any substantial land in the area for which compensation is paid.”
Responding, a former member of the House of Representatives and one of the accused persons, Bassey Etim, said the compensation was not meant to be disbursed pro-rata but to families who actually land in affected area.
He said, “When government send compensation, it does not just send money for people to go and share to everyone in the village. It is paid for what you have in the land.
“I have a very large expanse of land which government has not paid me, that is why personally, I have not collected a dime from the money.
“When you talk about family, land belong to family. That is why if you look at the place, you will not see the name of my father because before he died and he shared his property to his children. You will not even see the name of my mother because whatever she had, she has shared for the children before her death.
“So, the issue of paying compensation to community family is completely nonsense. Land belongs to family and money was not sent to the village to be shared, people believe that compensation is to start sharing money to people.
“Go and find out, there is a schedule of payment. If a name appears 100 times, is it not based on the plot of land that the person has? Money was not sent to be shared pro-rata; it was sent to people who had property.”