The people of Ikot Obio Inyang community in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, have dethroned their village head, Chief Emem Akpan, over alleged fraud and other criminal activities levelled against him.
A statement by the community under the aegis of Ikot Obio Inyang Development Association (IKODA) and forwarded to journalists in Uyo on Wednesday, ordered that Akpan be handed over to the police to face his pending cases and criminal prosecution.
A 14-point resolution signed by the President of IKODA and 89 other members of the community, the community alleged that the village head sabotaged the water scheme, which was provided by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
According to the group, a police report of February 17, 2020 indicted the village head of removing the solar pump controller, solar panel, and other components, sold and used the proceeds for his personal benefit without the knowledge and approval of the village council and community.
“This led to a petition to the state police commissioner who ordered an investigation into the matter. The police investigation indicted Chief Emem Okon Akpan, the village head for vandalism, stealing and conversion of community solar water facilities.
“Chief Emem Okon Akpan collected compensation for Ekom Iman-Etina Road due Ikot Obio Inyang people and never gave to the rightful beneficiaries.
“If Chief Emem Okon continues ruling as the village head of Ikot Obio Inyang, the community would meet an irredeemable shame soon and untold hardship in all spheres of the community life. Enough is enough!
“The entire men, women, youths and social groups in Ikot Obio Inyang pass a vote of no confidence in Chief Emem Okon Akpan and he be stripped of his position as village head of Ikot Obio Inyang.
“Chief Emem Okon Akpan be handed over to the police to face his pending cases and criminal prosecution,” the statement noted.
The village head in his reaction, described the position of Ikot Obio Inyang Development Association as invalid, noting that the association was an opposition.
He maintained that the association’s stance needed to have been endorsed by family heads, adding that a letter headed paper of the village council ought to have been used, to make it valid. He said, “They are not members of the village council, but opposition. That is why you did not see any of the family heads sign the letter, and that is why they did not also use the letter headed paper of the village council. They are politicians, their position is not valid.”