Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has completed a massive mansion for himself in his hometown of Awa community in Onna Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, which he started building four months after becoming the governor of the State.
SaharaReporters in an exclusive report on September 30, 2015 revealed that contract for the building project was awarded by Mr. Emmanuel to VKS Construction Limited, a construction firm owned by Mr. Onur Kumral, a Turkish national who several sources confirmed aided former Governor Godswill Akpabio in siphoning public funds.
Mr. Kumral was formerly the project manager of another construction company, Ronesans Construction Nigeria Limited, a Turkish firm. SaharaReporters investigation last year revealed that the Turkish company is a subsidiary of Ronesans Holding in Turkey but had to be registered as Ronesans Construction Nigeria Limited when it first arrived Nigeria in 2014 on the invitation of former Governor Godswill Akpabio. The first contract awarded to the company in Nigeria was the construction of the Four Point Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State.
Kumral later left Renossans Construction Nigeria Limited and formed VKS Construction Limited.
Kumral was assisted in the governor’s building project by one Oliver Ebong. Ebong is the owner of another company called Olkem Nigeria Limited which is basically into project consultancy. However, credible sources had informed SaharaReporters that Mr. Ebong and Olkem Nigeria Limited were fronts for former Governor Godswill Akpabio, his elder brother Emem Akpabio and one Mr. Don Etim who was the Commissioner for Works throughout the 8 years tenure of Akpabio as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“Oliver Ebong and his company Olkem Nigeria Limited are fronts that was used by Godswill Akpabio, his brother Emem Akpabio and Mr. Don Etim to loot billions of naira of Akwa Ibom funds. What happened was that the former governor gave almost all the consultancy job for roads and other infrastructural projects and contracts of his government to Olkem Nigeria Limited which ran into several billions of naira.
“The cost of the consultancy contracts were usually inflated and returns were made to the former governor, his brother and Don Etim. This fact was common knowledge within government circles”, a source close to the former governor told SaharaReporters.
Despite the photos of the building at the time exclusively published by SaharaReporters, which clearly showed that the house was completely new and under construction, the governor publicly lied and refused to admit so.
The governor through the State Commissioner for Information, Aniekan Umanah, had while addressing news men in Uyo on Friday October 2, 2015 described the report as “false” “unfounded”, “misleading” and “the height of mischief”. He claimed that Mr. Udom was merely renovating the property that had been built 60 years ago.
The opulent house was built to have state of the art facilities has a shocking inbuilt Olympic size swimming pool.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on the matter, a lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Inibehe Effiong, described the governor as someone on a mission is to accumulate wealth at the expense of the public.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel is a bloody liar. How can a governor build such a mansion within few months in office? Why didn’t he do so before now if he had so much money before becoming the governor? It is criminal and senseless,” according to the lawyer when asked about the completion of this project.