Church Building Collapse: Akwa Ibom Govt Still Mum One Year After
Saturday December 10, 2016 was a sad day in Akwa Ibom State.
On the day, at least 27 worshippers were killed when the building of Reigners Bible Church, Uyo, which was under construction at the time, collapsed during a ceremony to consecrate the church founder, Akan Weeks, as a bishop.
Governor of the state, Udom Emmanuel, who was also present on the day, escaped unhurt, as several others also died from injuries suffered.
One year down the line, no report has been made public as regards investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, human rights community in the state has again called on the Akwa Ibom state government, as a matter of urgency, to release the report of the judicial commission of inquiry set up to investigate the incident.
The commission, headed by a retired judge, Umoekoyo Essang, submitted its report in July to the state government.
Also read: Lagos Chief Crushes Wife To Death With SUV
Inibehe Effiong, a Lagos-based lawyer and human rights campaigner, said that the government’s response to the Uyo church collapse has been "very unfortunate".
“It clearly shows that the government has interest in not doing justice in the matter because like we have maintained consistently, the founder of the church is known to be a personal friend of the governor," Effiong told Premium Times.
“The government, from the information we had, even contributed to the building of the church. All these clearly show conflict of interest.
“This is why, for example, rather than ordering for the prosecution of those who were culpable, the government had to set up a judicial commission of inquiry. And several months after the panel submitted its report, the government has refused to make the report public,” Mr. Effiong said.
He accused the government of refusing to pay the medical bills of the victims and also abandoning the families of those who lost their lives in the incident.
ALSO WATCH: Bounce Sports: How Far Will The Super Eagles Go In Russia 2018