…Mobilse youths with N4,000 each to clear site for project
…Community elders take case to Dep Gov
Tension, fear and anger loom in Inen Ekeffe community in Oruk Anam council area of Akwa Ibom State as strange persons suspected to be fraudsters have invaded their land with survey instruments to measure proposed area of their land for a refinery project.
The Daily Times investigation revealed that the community land located at the shores of Imo river in an Island close to the river estuary known in their local name as ‘obot ufford’ was cleared by some people on the pretext to build a private refinery in the area.
It was further learnt that the strange visitors mobilised unemployed youths of the area and paid them wages of N2000 and N4000 daily as they were engaged to clear the land and assisted the team of surveyors for detailed plan preparatory for payment of compensation to the land owners.
Worried by the speed of work at the site, the elders of the community represented by Barrister Okon Akpanbrown and Mr. Anyanime Isaac Umoren, approached the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo, to confirm the authenticity of the investors in their community.
Umoren told our correspondent that on their arrival at the Deputy Governor’s office, the investment profile of the company was reviewed and there was no record of the refinery project.
He said Mr. Ekpo called the state chairman of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Dr. Gabriel Ukpe, to check if there was any foreign firm billed to build refinery in the state but there was none.
But The Daily Times investigations revealed that the company known as Marsh Ken Global Investment Ltd located at 148 Oron, Uyo with their chairman, Obong Edidem Bassey, claimed to be in partnership with European Union on the refinery project.
He told The Daily Times that he had made attempt at Ikot Abasi, Mkpat Enin axis of Akwa Ibom State for the same project but the youths of the area revolted and chased them away before someone directed them to the present community of their operations.
However, the elders said the inability of the company to provide approval documents from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other relevant government agencies heightened their suspicion, thereby casting apprehension in the community.
Meanwhile, the elders said the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo, had warned them not to sign any document that may cede their land to any group of persons until the authenticity of the firm is confirmed.