Mystery now pervades the ownership of a massive landed asset at 67 Oron Road, Uyo, lying 6,162.983sqm, adjacent the Area Headquarters of the Apostolic Church, 69 Oron Road, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
The expansive land which has remained cordoned since 2019 is generating fuss over its true ownership.
Dependable sources said until second quarter of 2019, the land at the heart of the city which empties into Nyong Essien Street, was being occupied by a massive story building and two bungalows.
Speculation was rife that the parcel of land had been acquired by the then Commissioner for Works, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, who is now Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel.
However, when our correspondent sought clarifications on the ownership of the property from the Chief of Staff, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, he completely disassociated himself from it, stating that he has never acquired such property.
“Such allegations are machinations of disgruntled elements in the system, who would use public funds to acquire properties but choose to accuse innocent people, while hiding their true identities.
I want to emphatically state here that I have no property along Oron Road and have no link with the said property at 67 Oron Road, I will seek legal redress if anybody associate me with the purchase or ownership of that property, please go to Ministry of lands to get clarifications on the true ownership of the property,” Akparawa Inyang-Eyen warned.
It was gathered by our correspondent who visited the Ministry of Lands & Town Planning at the Idongesit Nkanga State secretariat, Uyo that a powerful syndicate allegedly operates within the Ministry of Lands who usually aids the acquisition of choice properties all over the state with fictitious names in collaboration with fraudulent officials.
Meanwhile, documents sourced from the Ministry of Lands & Town Planning 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 indicated that the name Usen Ita Uwa may not be real as officials of the Ministry were allegedly involved in the scandalous deals.
It was gathered that the landed property was acquired from the aborigines in May, 1975 with the sum of seven hundred naira (N700) only.
Sources within the ministry, who pleaded not to be named, told our correspondent that Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen is not involved in the ownership of choice property at 67 Oron Road as being speculated.
“He is well known and very popular in the state, if he is involved I will tell you, he has no hand in the property, and I can tell you out rightly that the true owner may soon be unmasked”.
He further stated, “Sadly, some officials of government have been using their privileged access to public funds to acquire properties all over the state, while the vast majority of the populace wallows in abject poverty.
“I challenge the Ministry of Lands & Town Planning to publicly disclose the owner of the property”.
It was observed during a visit to the contentious property that all old structures standing on the land had long been demolished and the land sealed off in readiness for development.
However, there was nobody seen to respond to enquiries.