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Tuesday, March 22, 2022



The Uyo office of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC has invited the deputy chairman of the Senator Bassey Albert's Campaign Council, Mr. Ephraim Inyang to appear before it in two weeks, to answer questions bothering on professional fees of Estate Surveyors and Valuers in Akwa Ibom State deducted at source during his tenure as Commissioner for Works between 2015 to 2020.

The amount which is said to be in the region of N1.1Billion was deducted at source during his tenure, but the said amount has not reflected in the compensation/indemnity certificate issued by ArkWay Projects Ltd, the payment consultant hired by Mr Ephraim Inyang for the Works Ministry, during his tenure. 

The invitation by the ICPC, comes on the heels of a petition by some estate valuers, notably Mr Godwin Timothy, an Estate surveyor and Valuer, whose firm, Godwin Timothy & Co, represented property owners affected by the Uyo-Etinan road dualisation road project, Ikot-Oku Ikono flyover, Eket remodelling Project and Mkpok-Okat-road construction project.

In the petition of which a copy was obtained by this newspaper, the Estate Surveyor and Valuer had accused the former Commissioner for Works, Ephraim Inyang and one Ubong Williams of Arkway Project Ltd in respect of Attorney fees due to consultants estate surveyors and valuers in Akwa Ibom State.

The former Commissioner for Works, had following an earlier petition to EFCC in February 2019, allegedly paid the estate valuers the sum of N100m, from the initial N1.2bn claims the had presented. The payment was said to have come after Ubong William his financial consultant had been allegedly arrested and detained by the anti-graft agency.

The petition reads in parts; "We are a firm of Estate Surveyors and Valuers with the name (Godwin Timothy and Co) retained by numerous property owners to represent them through power of Attorney at 10%(Ten percent) Professional fee on various road construction projects undertaken by the Akwa Ibom State government namely;Eket Urban Remodelling Project, Uyo-Etinan road dualisation Project, Mkpok-Okat-road construction, Ekom Iman flyover project."

Based on the above listed projects, we submitted our duly registered power of Attorney to ArkWay Projects Limited" who is the Government Appointed Payment Consultant under the State Ministry of Works that is manned by (Mr. Ubong Williams), the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. However, Mr. Ubong Williams resorted to paying our client (property owners) directly after deducting 10% Professional fees due to our client, same has not been reflected on the Indemnity Forms our Clients were made to sign before they were paid their compensation sum,, 

It is our humble submission that the final value of valuation report submitted by the Government Valuer to ArkWay Projects Limited does not reflect the same value that is paid to our clients.

Therefore we plead that you launch discrete investigation into the activities of Arkway Project Limited and that of Hon. Commissioner for Works to unravel the fraud perpetuated in the course of payment of compensation sum.

Fraudulent actions against the former Works Commissioner, include the alleged deduction of ten percent of total released funds for properties, payments for ghost houses, payment for properties that were not affected by the construction and were never demolished, among others.

For example, it was revealed that money approved and claimed to be released to a property owner whose property was on Awa Iman road Project, was N2,525,523. But the property owner, Otobong Udo Ntuen with property code number BNP/DUA/AI/R/01A, fr available documents received only N2,272,971(Two million, two hundred and seventy two thousand, nine hundred and seventy one naira, with ten percent of the money unaccounted for.

The anti-graft agency is said to have written to Ephraim Inyangeyen demanding for the release of valuation report especially on Etinan-Ndon Eyo road Project, payment schedule on the same road project and indemnity certificate.

It is not clear why Ephraim Inyangeyen has refused to cooperate with the agency in unraveling the mystery behind the disappearance of the said 10percent of compensation funds.

Speaking with this newspaper, the CEO of Godwin Timothy & Co, Surveyor Godwin Timothy, armed with documents to back his claim, said he was miffed at the magnitude of underhand dealings allegedly pepetrated under Ephraim's watch. 

He showed documents showing how compensation for fictitious properties in three villages along Etinan-Ndon Eyo road dualisation Project were paid while Mr Inyangeyen strolled as seer in the Ministry of Works.

Speaking with this newspaper on the frustrations he has encountered in his attempt to get the money for property owners who contracted him to represent them, Godwin said "the 10 percent Money belongs to owners of property affected by Uyo-Etinan, Eket remodelling and Mkpok-Okat-Onna road".

"As at 22nd february, 2016, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers wrote demanding for the release of their money he didn't respond. Up till today the money has not been paid".

A reference to an interview in a video  during his time as Commissioner was referred to this reporter, where Mr Inyangeyen was seen explaining that he was reluctant to release the 10percent to the estate valuers until he finishes paying property owners, and would do so at a later date.

When reached on phone at press time, Commissioner in the Agency for Akwa Ibom,  Sola Shodipo rather invited this reporter to meet him in his office and promised to give insights on the issue.

_Culled from Global Pilot Newspaper_

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